Pivot To Product: The Power Of The North Star Metric

In the race for successful product development, speed often takes centre stage. But amid the frenzy of fast flow, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly drives value.

Imagine being part of a product team, caught in the perpetual race of delivering features at lightning speed, wondering if they truly matter. In this relentless focus on fast flow, product teams can find themselves trapped in a cycle of quantity over quality. But what if there’s a better way to measure success?

Embracing the Power of North Star Metrics

The shift from fast flow to impactful outcomes begins with embracing the concept of North Star Metrics. North Star Metrics focus on the core indicators that drive genuine value for your business. They provide a clear, unambiguous focus on the destination you aim to reach, guiding your team towards accelerated growth, optimal resource alignment, and cohesive collaboration among cross-functional teams.

Figure 1 – NorthStar Metric helps cascade the product vision to where “the work” is done, creating alignment of what success looks like across the organisation1

Consider the journey of Financial Times. The business revamped their approach with North Star Metrics, focusing on RVF – Recency, Volume, and Frequency of usage.

Figure 2 – How Financial Times have defined their NorthStar Metric2

This single, powerful metric, streamlined their focus, helping them prioritise initiatives which will have most impact and driving product decisions tailored to customer habits. By rallying their product strategies and teams around RVF, they saw tangible results: increased user satisfaction, heightened engagement and adoption, resulting in substantial business growth from value-adding products. This practical application of North Star Metrics highlighted its pivotal role in guiding product teams towards outcomes that directly impacted customer behaviour and business success.

Navigating the Transition with Purpose

Transitioning from a fast-flowing feature-centric approach to a North Star metrics-driven mindset requires purposeful navigation. It’s about shifting from a relentless pursuit of speed to a strategic focus on delivering outcomes that truly matter. Success is no longer measured solely by the number of features shipped but by the tangible impact those features have on your North Star Metrics.

Redefining Success for Your Product Team

In conclusion, the success of your product team is not defined by the speed at which features are delivered but by the impact those features have on your North Star Metrics. By shifting your focus from fast flow to meaningful outcomes, you can unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation.


  1. Adapted from Tim Herbig’s “The Product Strategy-Metrics Sandwich: How to Align North Star Metrics and Key Results”
  2. FT Strategies article “How the North Star framework can unlock a financial institution’s potential and help achieve its strategic objectives”