What this article covers
- Consider your audience
- Find the right balance between sharing too much or too little
- Share context when including activity from integrations
Consider your audience
What would you like your team, including your manager, to know about the work you’re doing and the progress you’ve made? What context can you include in your Check-in that might help your team better understand your update? Let this concept drive what you write in a Check-in.
Find the right balance between sharing too much or too little
When you write an item, a good practice is to try to make each one clearly understood on its own, and meaningful to whoever on your team might read it. Try out a few different ways to provide the right amount of context. Too little context, such as just listing a project you’re working on, doesn’t help people understand how you’re moving it forward with the work. But it’s not necessary to list out everything you need to do either. For example, you can group items if that makes sense.
Here are a few examples to help you establish your own baseline for composing great check-ins.
- Not so good: “Working on Project Orange”
- Why : it doesn’t provide context on the stage of the work, or what part of the project will be moved forward
- Better: “Finalizing the product requirement document for Project Orange and sharing it with the team by EOD”
- Why: Sharing specific tasks and actions helps people understand the state of the work
- Not so good: Listing 20 tasks that you’re doing on a project
- Why: The tasks and tactics you’re employing might not be relevant for your whole team, but what you’re focusing on and the progress you’re making is. Just listing out tasks doesn’t provide the context your team needs.
- Better: Summarizing lots of little tasks into a single check-in item that describes more broadly what you’re getting done
- Why: Tasks are in service of the overall goal of the work, so if you can combine those to clarify how combined those those tasks move a project or goal forward, that’s usually more helpful to your team
Share context when including activity from integrations
The activity bar shows work that's been collected via integrations with the different tools you are using. From there you can easily drag over items to include in your Check-ins. You will, however, often need to add context for others to understand what’s happened with your work.
For example, a document with a cryptic title would benefit from something like “I drafted this article to help us …” The same goes for updates and changes in status to tickets, issues, and code. So remember to include a little note when adding activity to your Check-ins.