An essential aspect of the OKR process is Checking-in. Check-ins are updates that owners make to their Objectives and Key Results on a regular cadence.
A good frequency to update quarterly OKRs is once a week. If you have set annual Objectives, you could set your check-in rhythm to once in two weeks or even once a month. With quarterly OKRs, however, weekly check-ins are recommended.
Regular updates ensure that users can calibrate if there are changes, remove Objectives that are no longer important or cannot be done, and most important, ensure they are spending time on tasks that matter.
With Ally, you can check-in to any Objective or Key Result by navigating to its page and clicking on the ‘Check-in’ button available on the top-right corner:
For quick check-ins, you can also select the option available in the dropdown from the list of all Objectives:
In the Check-in popup that appears:
- Add a note or comments about your update. Cover issues or challenges you're facing and progress you've made; numbers do not convey the full story.
- Enter progress. This may be percentage completion of your task or KPIs met, depending on what you chose while adding the Objective, and
- Mark the overall status - is your Objective On Track, Behind, At Risk, or have you Not Started yet?
Remember to make the update short and crisp; the OKR process does not require explanations or long-winded details. At the same time, remember that anyone in the Organization may be reading the update - add enough information for them to comprehend the status of your Objective.
As you make a check-in to your Objective, you’ll notice that the statuses and progress of all parent Objectives automatically get updated. This roll-up of progress and status ensures that alignment between different levels is maintained.
When an Objective is tracked by percentage completion, its progress is the average of progress marked against its Key Results. Owners are free to override the check-in manually using the steps described above.
When the Objective is tracked by a metric, however, Ally doesn’t know how the progress of the Key Result will impact the success metric of the Objective and hence Ally will not automatically update the progress. The owner of the objective can check-in to update; or the Objective can be edited to measure success based on percentage completion.
The status of an Objective is also determined by the statuses of Key Results associated to it. If the Key Results, however, have different statuses, the status of the Objective is Unknown. For instance, if one Key Result is On Track, but another is At Risk, the status of the Objective cannot be determined and it marked Unknown. Unknown statuses are depicted through a purple progress bar. The other statuses of an Objective or Key Result can be On Track (Green), At Risk (Orange), Behind (Red), and Done/Completed (Black).