OKRs without regular check-ins are just KPIs. See best practices for keeping track of progress on your Key Results.
Creating OKRs might be the hardest thing about the framework, but tracking OKRs is the most valuable part. It's important to have alignment at the start of the quarter, but you also need to help your teams excel at execution. This is only possible if progress against the Key Results is tracked early and often.
Pick the right Scoring frequency
The rules are simple:
- Quarterly OKRs should be tracked weekly.
- Yearly OKRs should be tracked monthly.
You need to have enough data points that you can identify trends in your Key Results. With monthly-tracked OKRs you'll often get a false sense of security until the second month. Then it's already too late if you're in the red.
On the other hand, weekly check-ins will help you anticipate issues much earlier. You'll quickly see trends and will be able to take action rapidly to correct the course.
Trends vs. isolated data
This is a follow-up to the previous point. Most spreadsheet templates use tables that will only show you the status of the latest check-in. This is dangerous because a single data point can look great in isolation...
...and offer a different story once you look at previous check-ins.
How to write good progress reports
A good check-in should answer the following questions:
- Progress: where are we today?
- Expectation: is this where we're supposed to be?
- Trends: are we getting better or worse?
- Root cause: how did we get there?
- Plan: what can we change to improve?
You need to answer these 5 questions every week, for each one of your Key Results. This may sound like a lot, but a tool like Tability can do the heavy lifting for you.
Getting Started with OKRs
Stop doing pointless tasks, start making decisions with purpose