Insights are often unveiled in casual conversations we have with clients, colleagues or friends – a point in time where both parties realise this is important stuff, and most people are struggling with it. These insights don’t wait for formal engagements – they happen over coffees and on couches. Our ‘couch coffees’ is a continuing series of posts where we’ll publish some of these insights – simple, short and sharp. They might be second nature to some; for others, they might be closer to epiphanies. For most, we hope they’re simply nudges in the right direction.

Most scoreboards have two things on them – the current score and the remaining time. They’re available for all to see – not only the players but also the public.

The score should be the objective measure of how a team or individual is performing – whether it’s goals scored, points won, distance run, etc. At the end of the sports game, anyone should be able to tell you how a team performed or who won the game.

But the scoreboard also needs to state how much time remains in the game. Michael Jordan once said “I’ve never lost a game, I’ve just run out of time”. Time needs to be factored in when determining the performance of a team.

Players can’t hide behind a scoreboard – it’s up there for everyone to see. The same should apply to business teams.

We often sit in weekly OKR check-in meetings and listen to people either explain to their team members that they haven’t progressed their OKRs due to several reasons, or they talk about everything they’re doing, how busy they’ve been. Everyone nods and the conversation moves on. But this isn’t enough, and a scoreboard can help.

By having the ‘scoreboard’ visible to all team members, you can easily see how you’re progressing towards your outcomes… or not progressing. By including a confidence rating (indicating if you’re confident that you’re going to achieve your KRs by the end of the OKR cycle), you can easily focus on the items flashing red.

This public ‘scoreboard’ helps drives accountability. No one wants to have a ‘zero’ score, or a goal flashing red (or no one that you want in your organisation). However, it should not be used to reprimand or discipline, but rather to facilitate the right conversations, solicit the right help and remove the major obstacles to ensure that there is progress on the goals going forward.

Tools to help keep score don’t have to be complicated. There are many software options to track progress – we recommend having a look at Gtmhub. Alternatively, you can use our free Excel tracking tool.

If you have questions, we’re always keen for coffee.

Get in touch so that we can brainstorm a few solutions together!

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