1. Define the recurrence and format that best work for your team
We recommend running OKR check-in meetings weekly, for no longer than 15 minutes for smaller teams or 30 minutes for large ones. This should be enough time to reflect on goal progress and set priorities for the week ahead.
Timing may require some training at first, but once you get the gist of the process, be consistent and stick to the established time. OKR progress meetings should get straight to the point, and in-depth work on individual key results should be done separately.
As for the format, this includes the agenda (we’ll share best practices with you — keep reading!) and understanding what would work best for everyone involved: a standalone OKR check-in meeting or, perhaps, a 15-minute slot at the start or end of a weekly department meeting.
2. Invite all participants
Weekly OKR check-in meetings should be done per team. Broader-scope OKR meetings between managers and senior management are also a good idea, but on a less frequent basis (e.g., once a month).
As they’re a great incentive not only for reaching your goals, but also for team alignment and engagement, include everyone from the team — even if it’s someone who isn’t directly responsible for individual key results (e.g., an intern who will only stay for a few months). Check-ins are reminders that everyone’s work matters and supports company growth and OKR completion, even if indirectly.
A meeting tool like Leapsome can help you smoothly set up a recurring OKR progress review check-in and notify all participants every week (besides setting an agenda and documenting progress — more on that below).
3. Set a clear agenda
As with the duration, the agenda of your OKR check-ins should be clear and consistent. This will help create a habit and set the right expectations, so employees won’t be caught by surprise with meetings running over time or by discussing an unexpected agenda and feeling unprepared.
Here’s a best-practice template you can use for your OKR progress review meetings:
- Progress discussion & status
Share the progress on the key results associated with each objective. This means starting with one OKR and discussing the progress of all the associated KRs, moving on to the remaining OKRs.
The owner of each OKR (or individual KRs) must set a status for each initiative and communicate the context that lead them to pick each status. We recommend the following options:
- Off track
- On track
As you discuss each key result, ensure everyone addresses blockers that are impeding progress.
Time to share what the team learned since the last OKR check-in meeting. Did you try something new that helped push a key result forward? Or did you realize that something should be done differently?
Be generous and a team player, and remember that what we learn can help others too, pushing individual and collective progress forward.
- Initiatives & priorities
With a grip on statuses, blockers, and lessons learned, the team can decide which initiatives to focus on to move forward and what to prioritize in the coming week.
Maybe you’ll realize that a KR won’t advance for reasons you can’t control and that it’s better to put it on hold until the next quarter while investing more time in off-track, delayed, and on-track key results.
Keep in mind: some topics may call for an in-depth discussion, but the OKR check-in meeting isn’t the time for this. So instead, schedule a separate meeting with the stakeholders involved (which a tool for meetings can also make easier).
4. Prepare as a team
All team members should gather the information they need to report on progress and impediments of the OKRs they’re responsible for. Think about specific insights you’d like to collect from other team members to make the best use of everyone’s time and keep the check-in brief.
Continuously documenting progress is key and will help your team stay focused (and meetings, brief). The easiest way to do this is to use a goal-tracking tool that integrates with your meetings. This way, you can easily visualize goal statuses and progress within meeting agendas.
4. Take notes during the meeting
You’re now ready to kick off your OKR check-in meetings. How exciting! As you follow the agenda, take notes (which can choose to be public or private) and write down action items.
Ideally, pick a meeting tool that allows you to carry these notes over to the next meeting, so you can keep track of what still needs to be tackled even more efficiently.
Follow-up best practices for OKR check-ins
Take action and reach those goals!
Sounds simple, but we know it’s not always the case — after all, your OKRs will always be challenging (and, hopefully, exciting too).
Although weekly OKR progress review meetings aren’t the proper space for thorough discussions on specific roadblocks, this meeting should be about much more than documenting. Ensure that priorities and input needed from others for the coming week are clear for all team members. Schedule focused discussions if needed for specific key results.
And if you haven’t yet implemented objectives and key results at your company, see how to roll out the OKR methodology. 😉