Assuming your company operates in normal quarterly cycles, the quarter is halfway done now. Time flies, eh? And guess what? The quarter-end will be here just as quickly. Now is the perfect time to really evaluate your current OKRs. Here we’ll discuss some ideas, suggestions, and tips to make sure you finish the quarter strong.
#1 - Check-In! - Ideally, you are constantly checking in with your team on the performance of your results consistently, so this one is par for the course, but still critical! Be honest with yourself about performance and projections, but take an opportunity to look at the data. If you feel like you'll be short, make some adjustments and re-plan the next 6 weeks.
#2 - Celebrate Progress - As long as these weren’t layups or someone was just sandbagging, find some key wins to celebrate as a group. This has multiple benefits. First, it obviously recognizes strong performance. Secondly, it can propel a strong finish. And thirdly (or lastly?), encouragement can influence other individuals and teams. Always going to the red or the off-track is how you create an environment of anxiety. Celebrate the wins, even if just for a few moments, and be genuine about it. If you can’t be, it’ll be noticed. If you are genuine, it’ll be felt by all that hear it.
#3 - Course Correct the ‘At Risks’ - These are the Key Results that need some love. Maybe the wrong Initiatives are in place and not moving the needle or hasn’t made an impact yet. Maybe the metric targets themselves were wildly off base when first selected. Whatever the case may be, go in and do some diagnosing. The goal here isn’t to chastise or scold, but to solve the problem.
#4 - Pivot Your ‘Off Tracks’ - Unless there’s a viable way to bring these back to life, perhaps it’s time for a pivot. Don’t feel like you need to wait until the next quarter to try something new. There’s still six weeks left in this quarter, so recommit to try and pull your Key Results back on track with new Initiatives, or admit failure, discuss what you learned, and apply those learnings in a new way.
#5 - Share Learnings - Regardless of performance, you should always be continuously learning with your OKR program. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and apply those findings to the next sets of efforts.
#6 - Prepare for the Next Quarter - Yes, it’ll be here soon enough. Depending on the size of your team it could be a good time to do a brainstorming session or start putting some plans together. The key is to get out in front of things so you are prepared. If you’re the type of person who waits until the last second to do things, lean on people with strong planning backgrounds. If you are the opposite and always need a plan, then corral your other team members together for a working session. Communication is critical, and the more it happens, the stronger your OKR program will be.
#7 - Motivate for the Final Push - Before sending the team back out to finish out the quarter strong, make sure to fill their tank with motivation. Let them see the finish line and run towards it. Push them instead of pulling them, but not too hard otherwise it could backfire. Find that healthy balance of encouragement, accountability, and support. If you do this well, in six weeks you'll have more to celebrate.