Establish business rhythms


The second strategy for ensuring program success is establishing regular OKR business rhythms. This means developing an overarching framework for OKR rhythms that builds muscle memory and makes the OKR process an everyday part of your business. There are three stages that are critical to establishing OKR business rhythms:

  • Create
  • Check-in
  • Close

Diagram of the three Cs cycle: create, check-in, and close with text examples of what happens in each phase.

At the first stage in the cycle, teams will spend time creating their OKRs. This happens before the start of an OKR cycle. OKR Champions should set aside time to make sure teams are aligned and clear on what their OKRs are as this largely determines the success of the entire OKR cycle.

The second stage of the OKR cycle contains the bulk of the work done to achieve OKRs. This is tracked through regular check-ins on OKR progress. Here OKR Champions can support teams by identifying at-risk or off-track OKRs and helping to course-correct where possible.

Close is the third and final stage of the OKR cycle. At the end of the time period, teams will perform final check-ins, close OKRs and reflect on progress that was made. OKR Champions should lead these reflections and collect key takeaways as they should inform the OKRs for the next cycle.

At the start of their OKR journey, OKR Champions should invest time and effort to set up these three phases and ensure it gets ingrained into the entire organization. Ideally, these three stages will become automatic as the company grows toward OKR maturity. Establishing business rhythms creates a cadence that drives work and builds habits that ensure long-term commitment to the OKR program.