How Check-Ins Work
This article exists to teach you about the value of check-ins from a conceptual level. By the end, you should have an understanding of how they can help you, your team, or your company.
What are check-ins?
Check-ins are an easy way to automate routine 'status updates', like daily standups, weekly updates, and other routine communication. Friday gives you the ability to automate as much of the process as possible, which improves the flow of information and helps you create better habits.
How do check-ins help me or my team?
Have you ever heard, " That meeting should have been an email?". Do you feel like you spend too much time in meetings? Most people feel this way. Why is this?
Meetings consist of two major components:
- Information sharing (status updates, sharing facts or metrics)
- Collaboration (brainstorming, white-boarding, resolving blockers)
At Friday, we believe great meetings are highly collaborative and center around relationship-building or discussion around complex topics. Information sharing meetings....well, those are the meetings people can't stand. We talk more about this idea in the video below:
Therefore, we believe you should get the information sharing and updates done before you meet. Then, you can spend more time in meaningful discussion vs. going around in a circle and sharing what you are working on.
Friday helps you automate the information sharing, so you can spend less time (or eliminate) the meeting completely.
"I could just use Google Docs or Word for status updates.."
Yes! There are a variety of tools that make it easy to compile status reports. The issue is that it's very difficult to coordinate this, which reduces the probability that you will turn this activity into a repeatable habit.
For example, if you wanted to ping your team for a weekly update, you might need to setup a calendar reminder encouraging people to share an update. Some people will do this, some people will forget. Some people will do the work beforehand, and some people won't. Then, you will need to manually remind people.
Worst of all, your team will see this as busy-work. No one likes compiling status updates. At some point, you will stop trying and you may return to offloading updates to a meeting.
How Friday helps you automates check-ins:
Friday turns information sharing into a predictable and repeatable habit by automating the boring stuff. Specifically:
- Friday can ping your team when it's time to share an update (via email, Slack, Teams, etc)
- If people don't reply at a given time, we can send non-responders a notification
- You can pick and choose the people who should share an update (you, your team, or the entire company)
- You can determine who should see the responses. For example, a status update can be shared with specific stakeholders, while another routine can only be seen by a leader.
- You can create pre-defined questions and prompts (open-ended, numeric, emoji, and more), which encourages structured responses.
- Friday will automatically rollup a shareable report and aggregate responses
- Friday will trend responses over time, which helps you understand if things are moving in the right direction.
Outcomes you should expect if you use Friday check-ins:
There are a variety of outcomes you should expect if you create a check-ins.
- More people will share updates before you meet, which reduces time spent in meetings or eliminates the meeting entirely
- You will spend less time compiling reports for external stakeholders
- You won't wonder what people are working on, as the information will be proactively pushed to you on a regular basis
- You will create a more flexible and asynchronous working environment