OKR Check-ins vs OKR Reporting Updates

When it comes to making progress on OKRs, Initiatives and KPIs, efficient information flow is essential. Leadership teams and team managers need to have a view on what information needs to be updated and provided, when and to whom in order to establish a rhythm and a single-point of truth on what is going on and what is needed where.

OKR Check-ins vs OKR Reporting Updates

The stages of a typical OKR setting and execution cycle usually include:

  • Annual Strategic Pillar & OKR Setting
  • Briefing where leadership teams are asked to propose suggested departmental and cross-functional team aligned OKRs & Initiatives in DRAFT
  • OKR and Initiative proposal and debate
  • Final OKR and Initiative agreement and SIGN-OFF
  • Briefing where sub-team and cross-functional invitations to leadership teams to propose suggested aligned OKRs & Initiatives in DRAFT
  • OKR and Initiative proposal and debate
  • OKR and Initiative agreement and SIGN-OFF

Once you’re through these steps you will have identified the strategically aligned OKRs and Initiatives that are going to move-the-needle. Teams will know exactly what is required and where how they contribute. It’s not time to execute.

7 Reasons Why You Need An OKR Execution Rhythm


By involving a large number of your employees in setting goals you will have already increased their energy levels and engagement. It’s not time to execute and keep that energy going.

There are 7 reasons why you really want to find and keep to an OKR execution rhythm. They are:

  1. Synchronicity – Imagine a band drummer and a beat to play to. High performing companies and teams are playing together and working to the same planning and execution cycles.
  2. Focus – You need to keep those involved in OKRs focused on OKR delivery without day-to-day firefighting taking over. If the day-to-day is taking over it’s visible to managers and people can be supported or work delegated.
  3. Velocity – having a systemized way of surfacing what is holding people back allows for much faster resolution of dependencies and blockers.
  4. Autonomy – when you can see progress, issues and wins in real-time you don’t mind letting people work autonomously and need fewer general update meetings.
  5. Visible Progress – you will achieve your OKRs faster and not wonder why the goals that you spent a lot of time agreeing are not being achieved.
  6. Energy – Knowing how you are contributing and then making progress is infectious. Watch energy and urgency get dialed-up.
  7. Learning – having defined moments of reflection and learning capture ensures everyone is continually improving.

OKR Check-ins, Reports & Meetings


Most organizations schedule check-ins, reporting updates and meetings with clear agendas. The job of each of these is as follows:

Weekly or Bi-Weekly Check-ins

The job of a check-in is to allow owners of OKRs and Initiatives to update colleagues on progress. As part of the update they should be sharing anything that is holding them back as well as any wins. Making a check-in a very operational update.

Another input is confidence or risk, depending on which term you prefer. This is a Red, Amber, Green graded view on how the owner sees the OKR or initiative.


If check-ins are happening on-time, progress and confidence / risk are current. What is missing is a narrative that answers questions like:

  • How are you feeling about the progress that’s been made?
  • Do you need anything e.g. more time, resources?
  • Is it still important that we make progress on this?

The various levels of management can then use this information to support owners and those supporting the owners to make progress or give them permission to pivot their focus.


It’s commonplace for employees to moan about having too many meetings. It’s also common for those meetings to frequently be considered a poor use of time – you more precious commodity.

With OKRs you have an opportunity to gather check-in and reporting information without the need for meetings. Your first big time saving. There are 3 meetings to ensure happen:

Weekly Short Team Meeting – 15 mins to 30 mins max

When you do meet you already have updated information and can focus on:

  • Problems – the OKRs and Initiatives where progress is not being made or where there is a red or amber status.
  • Priorities – what is being focused on during the coming week and where help will be needed from others.

Monthly Team Meetings – up to 60 mins

A longer and deeper dive that is focused at:

  • All OKRs – OKR and Initiative progress, problems, upcoming plans and the monthly reporting narrative
  • Team KPIs – those used for Key Results and more general KPIs / Health Metrics

Retrospective & Grading – up to 60 mins

A longer and deeper dive that is focused at:

  • OKR Grading – Questions to ask and answer include:
    • What was the story of the OKR – did it go to plan?
    • How much progress was made and how should that progress be graded?
    • What were the key learnings e.g. Start, stop, keep doing.

ZOKRI manages all of this and more


OKR Cycle management is just some of the many jobs that ZOKRI has been designed to do. Not just providing the nudges, alerts and notifications people need, but creating the views that ensure no additional document preparation time is required. With ZOKRI you can see how OKRs are progressing from any device at any time.


  • High performing organizations and teams develop the habits and rituals that allow them to focus on the goals and activities that will have the greatest impact.
  • A rhythm or cadence should be set and OKR software should be used that ensures that information on plans, progress and problems flows freely to all relevant people.
  • When teams meet, conversations are focused, productive and valuable.
  • Management feel and are in control, without the need to ever be controlling.