OKR reviews are the backbone of employee performance in the objectives and key results. After OKR planning and execution, companies must organize weekly, monthly, and quarterly OKR review meetings to evaluate and analyze the progress of individual and company goals. This action keeps both the team leaders and employees focused and on track.
What are OKR reviews?
OKR reviews are 1v1 virtual meetings held weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on where the employees are in their OKR journey. These meetings can be short or long (15-90 minutes), depending on where the company is in the OKR timeframe.
At the beginning of an OKR journey, a bi-weekly review must be conducted to discuss progress, challenges, behind or at-risk OKRs, and priorities for the next cycle.
Typically an OKR review is conducted at the end of a cycle, but leaving these crucial check-ins for the end of an OKR cycle can lead to disaster. This is the reason why weekly and monthly review meetings have been adopted to ensure workers don’t get sidetracked, and are focused and committed.
What is the purpose of an OKR review?
The purpose of an OKR review is to evaluate and analyze what the employees have achieved so far, why they have or have not achieved their set goals, challenges, and how they plan to move forward.
Behind OKRs (OKRs where progress is slow but you have an idea of how to get back on track) and At-risk OKRs (ones where progress has stopped with no plan on how to get back on track) are also discussed during a review meeting.
In essence, an OKR review is done to keep both team leaders and their members engaged and committed, throughout the cycle.
Why are OKR reviews important?
The importance of OKR reviews cannot be overemphasized. Without regular check-ins, employees are bound to get sidetracked and OKRs might not be met causing delay, loss of time, and revenue in a company.
OKRs help defines the foundation of the next cycle and decides whether or not certain objectives and key results are relevant.
Why does every organization need an OKR review?
OKR review meetings are the core of the OKR methodology. They keep all parties responsible for the achievement focused and engaged, ensuring a successful campaign. Without OKR review meetings workers are bound to lose commitment, struggle with challenges, and underdeliver – wasting valuable time and financial resources.
Checklist for OKR review meeting
- To ensure a successful OKR meeting, here are a few things you should know.
- OKR review meetings should be done two weeks before the next OKR planning.
- Participants should include; all team members, the team leader (OKR coach), and stakeholders (if it is the end of the cycle).
- The date and time of the meeting are communicated one or two weeks in advance to give all participants sufficient time to prepare.
- Ensure you make it known that all participants must analyze their OKRs and state why each objective was achieved or not.
- The OKR review must follow a preset agenda.
Example of OKR review meeting agenda
Welcome and introduction
This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Ensure you start the meeting off on a positive note. You can start with a success story of a previous OKR cycle.
Welcome all participants and walk them through the goal and desired outcome of the meeting. Remind them that the meeting is mainly for learning, improving, and constructive criticism. Condemn personal criticism and encourage participants to be open-minded.
Let them know that the review will be focused on the past cycle. They should be open to listening and understanding each other. Remind them that the main focus is the OKR achievement and not the OKR process.
Summary of lessons learned
Here, you will go through the list of objectives from top to bottom. Everything learned about each objective should be written down. Avoid listing the key results to prevent confusion.
You can ask the following questions or create yours
- Did you spend enough time on the objective?
- Were the necessary skills and resources provided to achieve the objectives?
- Were sufficient financial resources provided?
- Were effective tactics employed to achieve objectives?
- Was good judgment demonstrated?
For third parties
- Did other teams deliver according to the stipulated time?
- Did other teams possess the required skills and knowledge for the objective?
- Did they work effectively with other parties involved?
Relevance of the objective
- Did the OKR remain relevant?
- Did it remain a top priority?
- Does the objective need to be transferred to the next cycle?
What OKRs should be taken into the next cycle?
After analyzing the OKRs, some might be marked to be transferred to the next cycle especially if the OKRs are to be achieved but play a strategic role in the growth of the company. Document a list with valid reasons why these OKRs should be included in the next cycle. Include OKRs in the planning of the next cycle.
Summary and next steps
State the summary of the findings
Choose someone to prepare the findings as a short memo to distribute to others.
Identify the person responsible for documenting all tasks during the OKR meeting to ensure all details are safe and available for the next OKR planning and drafting procedure.
Setting your objectives and key results is one thing, but ensuring they are successful is where OKR review meetings come in. Ensure you prepare well and use the questions above only as a guide. You’re free to add and modify the list to suit your company. Remember, review meetings should be done frequently for best results.