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How to run async team Check-ins

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Meetings that get bogged down by project updates and status reports aren’t a good use of anyone’s time.

Status updates are important. But they make for inefficient use of meeting time because they’re only relevant to a handful of people in the room and often feel repetitive. Plus, when status updates happen verbally, it’s harder to document everything that’s said or share all the right context. When you’ve only got 30 seconds to give an update, things get missed.

Range Check-ins help you move status updates out of your standup or team meeting to give you more time to focus on what actually matters. They provide daily visibility into in-flight work, create a recorded history of your team’s accomplishments, and give stakeholders a clear line of sight into different projects and workstreams.

In this article, we’ll cover how to:

  1. Keep everyone aligned with a schedule
  2. Make it easy to share with prompts
  3. Track of what’s important with teams and #tags
  4. Streamline your workflow by connecting to Slack
  5. Find your Check-in groove and make it stick

1. Keep everyone aligned with a schedule

First, you’ll want to decide on a cadence and set a schedule for sharing Check-ins. Creating a regular schedule helps your team know exactly when to share and, over time, creates a habit of checking in. Many teams choose to share Check-ins daily or every other day.

Range comes with the following default schedule for Check-ins:

  • Participants: Everyone
  • Check-in days: All weekdays
  • Check-in reminder: 9:00 AM
  • Check-in summary sent: 1:00 PM
  • Time zone: Distributed (schedule is localized across timezones)

To edit the default schedule or create your own, go to Settings > Check-in schedules.

Learn more about Check-in schedules

2. Make it easy to share with prompts

Prompts give structure to your status updates. They make the process more lightweight and focused. With a little guidance, folks know exactly what to share each day and it becomes easier for everyone on the team to adopt the practice.

Range comes with the following default prompts — meant to bring different things into focus at different times of the week:

  • Monday: #WeeklyFocus — What is your main focus for this week?
  • Tuesday: [Blocked] — Are you blocked by anything today?
  • Wednesday: #Gratitude — What's something or someone you are thankful for this week?
  • Thursday: [FYI] — Is there anything your team needs to be aware of?
  • Friday: [Celebrate] — What’s something to celebrate from this week?

To edit the existing prompts or add a custom one, go to Settings > Check-in schedules. Then select Default schedule and Customize Check-in prompts.

Learn more about Check-in prompts

3. Track what’s important with teams and #tags

Teams and #tags make it easy to find and follow along with work that’s relevant to you. Teams (https://www.range.co/help/article/how-to-use-teams-in-range) help you keep track of who’s working on what and check out what other groups are working on across the org. You can review progress towards OKRs, see everyone’s Check-ins, and track team trends over time. If other teams are using Check-ins, teams allows you to see what’s going on across the whole company.

To create a team, go to the Team Directory and select “Create team” on the top right.

Learn more about using teams

#Tags work best for tracking projects, workstreams, and objectives. When you have a lot in flight, #tags make it easy to follow along with specific projects.

To create a #tag, just add # before a word in your Check-in (ex: Completed tech spec for #ProjectMercury launch). You can also create a tag when you’re setting up a new objective (ex: #ProjectMercury) and then add it to relevant Check-in items as you go.

Learn more about using #tags

4. Streamline your workflow by connecting to Slack

If your team uses Slack, connecting Range to Slack lets you share and follow along with updates in the place you’re already communicating with each other.

First make sure you’ve got the Range app for Slack set up. Then, go to your team channel in Slack to subscribe to the teams and #tags you want to follow in Range. It’s helpful to connect your team in Range to your team in Slack — when you do, you can share and read updates without ever leaving Slack. Subscribing to #tags can be useful for cross-functional projects — where folks outside your direct team are also contributing updates.

Type: /range subscribe #[tag] to subscribe to a tag or /range subscriptions and select a team.

Learn more about using Range and Slack together

5. Find your Check-in groove and make it stick

Once you have everything set up, it’s time to move your status updates out of your meetings and into Check-ins.

To share a Check-in in Range, go to My Check-in. (You can also share directly from Slack.)

Learn how to write your first Check-in

The following best practices can help you get the most out of Check-ins and build them into your team’s routine:

  • Connect with integrations to save time: Range connects to the tools and apps your team uses most to make sharing status updates even easier. When you use Range integrations, you can pull tasks from Asana, Jira, GitHub, Google Docs and more, directly into your Check-in, without having to jump around between tabs.
  • Use flags for blockers and feedback: Just like during an in-person status update, teammates can surface blockers, ask for help, and say thanks when someone lends a hand by using flags in their Check-ins.
  • Engage with each other: Reading and reacting to each other’s Check-ins is a great way to build accountability around daily work, show support for your teammates, and boost engagement.

Try it out

Status updates keep everyone in the loop and give managers visibility into in-flight work. But they don’t need to monopolize valuable time in your standup or team meeting.

Range Check-ins move status updates out of meetings, so your time together can be more engaging and effective. They ensure everything is documented and provide a recorded history of projects, which improves team transparency and gives stakeholders a clear line of sight into your team’s accomplishments.

Get started with Check-ins on your team

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