This question is not meant to be about food, but about general routines for project management.

I’m just starting to learn some things like OKRs, KPIs, Agile, Lean, iterative development, and so on. I’m trying to see how they could be applied to a simple goal of “developing a recipe”.

I suppose step 1 feels obvious: I want to develop a tasty pho recipe that can be made in a reasonable amount of effort and time. The cheaper and more efficiently and automatically, the better.

Now, should I already from the beginning break the goal into, say, 3-5 objective KPIs? Or, what is the standard next step? List out “possible tasks”? Or, “current inhibiting factors”? (Ie, problems: why can’t I do this; what’s stopping me.)

I’m considering trying Kanban boards to see if I find it effective.

I was really interested to learn there’s even an ISO for project management.

  • 1
    This seems on the bubble of being too likely to be opinion-generating since there's no canonically correct answer. There also seems to be some implicit assumptions in your question about "breaking down goals" as being equivalent to "getting stuff done." They aren't the same things at all, which makes this an X/Y problem.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Apr 6 at 19:40
  • What is hte underlying problem you're trying to address? Explain others how to understand KPIs and OKRs or to learn yourself how to apply management practices to develop a recipe?
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Commented Apr 14 at 14:57

1 Answer 1



Making soup can be a process. That's what a cookbook-style recipe ideally does: it provides a reliable and repeatable process for cooking food. However, simply defining a process (e.g. writing down the ingredients and steps needed to recreate a given dish with particular characteristics) won't actually create soup. Making soup only happens when you actually perform the steps documented in the process.

Focus on Your Definitions of "Done" and "Success"

You're overthinking this. The destination is not the journey. Goals and procedures don't actually make stuff happen. So, fundamentally, you're asking the wrong questions about how to determine how much process overhead you need in order to accomplish an objective.

You have a stated goal: write a recipe down. If that's the whole goal, it hardly seems worth the effort to do more than grab a pen and paper, and then write down how you usually make your soup.

If you are writing a recipe book, then you might have more to think about in terms of your "Definition of Done." OKRs, KPIs, and other metrics aren't useful in actually performing work, though. They're simply ways to help you determine whether you are on track for a longer or more complex goal, and to help define what success looks like.

In your example, if the recipe can be repeated successfully to turn out a consistent end result that some person or group of people will enjoy eating, then you've likely met your goal. If the recipe isn't easily replicable, provides inconsistent results, or your target audience dislikes the way the soup tastes after following your recipe then you probably haven't met your goal.

Focus on your "Definition of Done" and what "success" means in the context of whatever you're trying to do. Everything else is a just means to an end, and in the posted example is likely an unjustifiably heavyweight process for doing something simple. A core agile principle is to maximize the work not done, so don't create needless overhead for processes that don't need them. Unnecessary process adds no value, has marginal (if any) practical utility, and ultimately does not make soup.

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