Updated: Apr 1
The challenge with traditional goals? They're quickly forgotten.
We've all been there. Setting our annual goals only to quickly forget them in weeks of even months! The magic of OKR is keeping a close finger on the pulse. We do that with the Weekly OKR Check-in!
This is part of a multi part series exploring the High Impact Rhythm for business. It creates a focused heartbeat for your business operations covering a:
Quarterly OKR Setting - Review, learn, set. Review how you performed the quarter prior on your goals. Learn by running a retrospective focused on how you work, capturing what went well and what you'd like to do differently next time. Finally, set a clear focus for the quarter ahead with your OKR.
Monthly Strategic Discussion - Create time to deeply explore matters of strategic significance without the time pressure and distraction of operational matters.
Weekly Impact Meeting - Keep focus on the health of the business and strategic execution of key priorities.
Daily check-in - Clarity on immediate focus and collaboration on challenges ensures constant organisational alignment & adaption.
So, I bet you're wondering right now, "What in the hell is a Weekly Impact Meeting?"
The Weekly Impact Meeting
AKA the OKR Weekly Check-in.
It’s critical for the executive team and operational teams to remain constantly focused on operations and execution. This needs to include reviewing health metrics, checking on how we're progressing towards our goals and solving problems as a team.
Purpose: The intent here is creating a cohesive team. It allows for positive conflict, collaboration and adjustments to be made. When done well by the executive team, it means strategic priorities are executed seamlessly across the business.
Who: Team members (and occasional invitees where needed, particularly for the executive team)
Agenda for the Weekly Impact Meeting and OKR Check-in
The following agenda is followed and well facilitated. The intent is to move with pace and park topics for discussion for the end of the session.
Kick off - Share recent highlights and wins (5 min)
Health Metric Review - issues parked for discussion (10 min)
OKR Check-in - Review OKR Confidence Score & outcomes for week ahead - (15 min)
Knockout round - Any other key outcomes not covered by OKR or actions from previous weeks (5 min)
Prioritise, Discuss, Act - Prioritise meaty topics raised in the meeting so far, discuss the topics in as much depth as needed and take action to make progress on the topic (30 min)
Wrap - Capture actions, decisions and communications (5 min)
Next steps: Strategic challenges parked for quarterly planning or strategic meeting.
OKR Weekly Check in Template
For those of us who do not want to use a tool or spreadsheet, we have the template below to capture your team's Key Result confidence scores. You can copy the Google Slide (or export as Powerpoint), just make sure it's stored in a shared location.
Product and delivery teams
OK, so I hear you. You're not the executive team. How does this apply to you?
The slicing theory comes in here, but even stronger! Top product managers know how to break down product increments. These increments are small chunks which deliver products focused on:
Capability: Solving a specific problem the customer has (E.g. Customer is time poor and needs to check out quickly).
Focus: Solves the problem well for one customer persona or type (E.g. Customers who check out one item in a purchase with a Visa card).
When working on these smaller customer focus points and capabilities, you can break your OKR into smaller chunks. This gives you ultimate focus and enables you to see progress. So for example, if you have a Key Result to speed up the customer checkout, then set short term goal focused on making a small amount of progress on this. Such as to improve the speed for registered customers who have saved their Visa for a single item checkout.
This focus enables you to test and learn with targeted experiments to validate your ideas quickly and see progress on your OKR. If we see the numbers moving in the right direction, then we can use that to guide our confidence score. The best way to do this is use your team's existing cadence.
If you practice Scrum, then you'll find you already plan their activities once a week or fortnight in Sprint Planning. This is the perfect session to check-in on your OKR. In this case, you don't have to do it weekly. Just make sure your sprints are less than two weeks.
For a full illustration of how to bring together Scrum and OKR (with examples), check out this video: