The key to successful implementation of OKR is not just crafting the OKRs correctly, but also to track them regularly, to ensure progress.
Check-In is a practice of consciously recording your progress on an objective thus far. It’s a tool within the OKR methodology that ensures that OKRs are progressing as intended. Within the Check-In activity, the participant really does 2 things – Report and Reflect.
- Reporting on the things that have been done, results achieved, tasks completed
- Reflecting on what worked, what didn’t work and what could be done better next time (the learnings).
The Weekly Check-In is often done in silos but can later form the basis for OKR Progress Review meetings for your entire team.
As the name suggests, the ideal time to Check-In on your OKRs is weekly – either the end of the week (e.g. on Friday evening) or the beginning of week (like on a Monday morning). No matter how busy you are, you should always try to find 5 minutes for this.
All you have to do is just add what you’ve done this week on each of your Key Results. That’s IT.
For e.g. the key result that you are updating is: “Acquire 30 new customers”, the Check-In update just needs to report if you’ve reached 15 or 20 or 25 new customers. If you’ve not added any new customers this week (i.e. no progress), just leave the result the same as it was the week before.
Once you have updated your weekly progress on the Key Result, mark how confident you are on achieving this Objective. This creates an opportunity for you to add your highlights, lowlights and your reflections (e.g. why you marked the confidence rating the way you have). These comments/summaries help you later when you review the performance of the OKRs at the end of the period, and as such its strongly recommended to include them in every Check-In.
Once your Check-In is completed, you can look back at the past history of the progress you’ve made on that Objective and how close you are to achieving it compared to how far you are into the quarter. This will help you know if you should speed up your pace.
Ideally you should manage to do your Check-Ins on your OKRs every week, but if you miss a week or two – just do an up-to-date summary when you can.
Using an OKR software like ZenOKR makes this process extremely easy, as it automatically sends you a weekly reminder to complete your Check-In activity. If you are new to this methodology, create your free account with ZenOKR to start your OKR journey.