To help assess and evaluate how well your OKRs are progressing and whether or not they are likely to achieve the desired outcomes, it's important to establish a regular cadence for checking in and evaluating their progress. This will allow you to take action to correct or adjust your OKRs where necessary and also help facilitate collaboration and engagement amongst colleagues.
These check-ins are typically done on a weekly basis, however don't be afraid to establish a frequency that is more relevant to the rate at which you expect to see progress in your OKRs. Just keep in mind that in order to have a successful OKR cycle, its imperative that you are conducting regular OKR check-ins. These meetings should last 20-30 minutes (though this may need to be adjusted according to the size of the team) and act as a platform for everyone to discuss progress against their OKRs and highlight any potential blockers or impediments to achieving the desired outcomes. This also facilitates better communication and engagement amongst colleagues and increases transparency within the team.
It's not uncommon to run these check-ins as part of regular team meetings or standups, but care must be taken to ensure they are moderated properly and the time allotted to conducting the check-in is used efficiently to ensure you can go over all of the OKRs.
Where blockers or impediments to achieving progress against OKRs are identified, follow up discussions should be arranged with the relevant parties to identify and ensure actions are taken to resolve those issues and get their OKRs back on track.
Preparing for the OKR Check-in
Before having the OKR check-in, everyone should take the time to review and update their OKRs on Just3Things. This is a useful opportunity to identify any blockers and highlight these within the OKR and also outline priorities for the coming week. Status updates, commentary and any learnings should also be added to the OKRs to ensure a robust record of progress is kept and easily referred back to.
By recording this information within your OKRs on a regular basis, you'll be able to see how they're progressing over time. This will be particularly useful when it comes to conducting your quarterly reviews as you'll be able to identify exactly where you encountered issues and understand how to avoid or resolve these in subsequent OKR cycles.
Conducting the OKR Check-in
Once a format and cadence for the OKR check-in has been established and everyone has updated their OKRs, you're ready to conduct the meeting. As outlined earlier, it's important to ensure you keep these sessions short and focussed. Moderating the meeting should be done with as light a touch as possible and done solely to keep or steer people back on topic. To ensure this is maintained, we recommend everyone follows a simple reporting framework:
- Give a brief overview of the status of the OKR and any progress against previously agreed actions.
- Share any learnings; what went successfully and what didn't?
- Identify any blockers or potential issues and ask for assistance if you need it.
- Outline the next steps and priorities for the coming week.
When conducting the meeting, care should be taken to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to report on their progress. For more detailed discussions, it's better to follow up separately and involve only those relevant to that particular OKR.
Whilst you don't need to have Just3Things open at these check-in meetings, it is useful for the person leading the meeting to to have it in front of them and ideally on a large screen to act as a visual aid for the whole team. This also extends to remote check-ins as everyone can log in and view the OKRs for themselves.
After the OKR Check-in
Once the meeting has concluded, team members should ensure they record any agreed actions and learnings from the meeting within the relevant OKRs. If anyone identified any issues that require a follow up, this should be arranged as soon as possible to mitigate any unnecessary impact to their progress.
- To help run a successful OKR cycle, you should be having regular OKR check-in meetings, typically once a week.
- Establish a cadence and format for the meetings, and outline a reporting framework everyone should follow.
- All team members should take the time before the check-in to update their OKRs with any updates, learnings and planned actions. Blockers or impediments should also be highlighted for discussion.
- When conducting the meeting, some degree of moderation should be used to ensure updates and discussions stay relevant and on track.
- Check-ins should be kept short and focussed and any more detailed discussions should be carried out with the relevant parties afterwards.
- Team members should take notes during the session and ensure they update their OKRs after the session with any agreed actions, learnings & supporting comments.
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