Check-ins are updates that team members make to the Objectives and Key Results they are responsible for at a regular cadence. Regular check-ins prompt a constant, rhythmic review of OKRs, which helps your team stay on track, course-correct, make necessary changes to outdated or unachievable Objectives, and most importantly, ensure they are spending time on the tasks that really matter.
The fact that all check-ins are visible to everyone in the organization maintains transparency and accountability in the OKR process.
You can check-in to any Objective or Key Result by navigating to its page and clicking on the ‘Check-in’ button in the top-right corner:
To make a quick check-in, you can also navigate to the list of Objectives and hover over the Objective or Key Result you want to update. Select the check-in option:
In the Check-in popup that appears:
- Tell your team what’s the latest on your OKRs: This is the place to contextualize your update with a brief note or comment. Be sure to cover any issues or challenges you're facing as well as the progress you've made; numbers don’t always tell the whole story!
- Enter progress: This could be the percentage completion of your task or KPIs met, depending on the metric of success you chose while adding the Objective.
- Flag the overall status: Is your Objective or KR On Track, Behind, At Risk, or have you Not Started yet?
Keep it short and crisp; the OKR process does not require a long-winded explanation on every check-in; you could be spending that time on the tasks that really matter.
At the same time, remember that anyone in the Organization can read your updates, so add just enough information for them to clearly and quickly understand the status of your Objective.
After you make a check-in, you’ll notice that the statuses and progress of all parent Objectives get updated automatically. This roll-up reflects and maintains the alignment between different levels of OKRs.
One exception is Objectives tracked by custom KPI: Ally can’t know how the progress of the Key Result will impact the aligned Objectives, and hence Ally will not automatically update the progress. It will have to be updated manually with a check-in.
Regular check-ins are a key part of an effective OKR implementation - that’s why it’s helpful to send gentle reminders to your team to check-in on their OKRs. For quarterly OKRs, it’s a good idea to check-in once a week. If your company sets annual Objectives, a bi-weekly or even monthly check-in rhythm might be more appropriate. Take a few cycles to understand which rhythm works best for you and your team. Ally sends reminders as notifications via email and Slack. To learn more about check-in notifications and how you can customize them, click here.