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Unraveling the Strategic Relations of North Star Metrics in Product Management

By Nilesh Dalvi – Senior Manager Product Management at Adobe

In this blog, we will discuss the importance of actionable metrics in achieving product goals and how they impact product strategy. We will explore the concept of breaking down north-star metrics into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive actionable metrics. By dividing these metrics and setting targets for different user personas, businesses can effectively impact their north-star metrics and achieve their product goals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on actionable metrics: Track metrics you can directly influence (e.g., sessions) to boost broader goals (e.g., watch time).
  • Break down north-star metrics: Decompose broader goals into smaller components (e.g., users, sessions, time) for targeted improvement.
  • Set persona-specific targets: Tailor efforts to different user segments by assigning distinct goals based on their behavior and needs.
  • Align actions with product strategy: Link targeted improvements to overall product goals for a cohesive approach.
  • Refine and adjust: Continuously monitor, analyze, and adapt your strategy based on actionable metrics impact on north-star metrics.
In this article
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    The Concept of Actionable Metrics

    In order to directly achieve consecutive weight reduction sessions, we need to create opportunities through actionable metrics. Actionable metrics are metrics that can be influenced and improved upon to impact north-star metrics. They make it possible for marketers to effectively organize their teams around the most crucial KPIs to achieve corporate goals. Any part of your business that you have substantial influence over is linked to actionable metrics.

    Actionable Metrics and North-Star Metrics

    Let’s consider the example of Netflix. Netflix wants to increase the total watch time per user per day. However, directly actioning this metric may not be effective. Instead, we need to define watch time in a way that encompasses various aspects.

    For example, we can calculate the total watch time per day by multiplying the number of users watching by the total watch time. To further break this down, we can divide the total watch time into the number of sessions per user and the time per session. This gives us a more comprehensive view of watch time.

    It’s important to note that watch time is not just the session time. It is a percentage of the session time that excludes activities like exploring recommendations or searching for content. By considering these factors, we can accurately measure watch time and its impact on the north-star metric.

    Breaking Down North-Star Metrics

    Breaking down north-star metrics into actionable metrics allows for a more effective improvement of the overall metric. By dividing the metric into smaller components, it becomes easier to identify areas for improvement.

    For example, increasing the number of sessions per user or the number of users can be accomplished through promotional campaigns. These actions will ultimately impact the north-star metric. By breaking down the metric, we can focus on specific actionable metrics that can be directly influenced.

    The Impact on Product Strategy

    Actions taken to improve actionable metrics have a direct impact on the overall product strategy. By setting targets for different user personas, businesses can align their actions with their product goals and business objectives.

    For example, to achieve the north-star metric of eight consecutive sessions in nine months on average, specific targets can be set. These targets may include increasing the number of users or watchers, increasing the session time, and improving the percentage of watch time. By dividing these targets based on user personas, businesses can tailor their strategies to different segments of their user base.

    By continuously monitoring and analyzing the impact of these actionable metrics on north-star metrics, businesses can refine and adjust their product strategies to achieve their goals.


    Actionable metrics play a crucial role in achieving product goals and shaping product strategy. By breaking down north-star metrics into actionable metrics and setting targets for different user personas, businesses can effectively impact their north-star metrics. These actions, in turn, influence product strategy and contribute to the overall success of the business.

    About the Author:

    Nilesh Dalvi – Senior Manager Product Management at Adobe

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