Check-in Tool

This meeting protocol helps teams to keep sprints on time and on track.


Use this protocol to:

  • Have a short, sharp check-in on the progress you are making as a sprint team

  • Tackle any blockers that are getting in the way (e.g. timing)

  • Sustain momentum and keep focused on activity

  • As a single meeting or as an agenda item in regular planning/professional learning time


  • Prep

    Have a copy of the check-in questions printed or written on a whiteboard and a space suitable for a stand-up meeting.

  • Step 1

    Set the norms (1 min)
    Start the meeting with a quick walkthrough of the norms to reorient the group to the very different stance we take to these meetings. The most important thing is not to let anyone sit down! This is a standing meeting and it cannot go beyond the 15 minutes allocated.

    Norms you may want to start with:
    - Focus on solutions
    - Hard on problems, soft on people
    - Every voice heard
    - Bias towards action

    Have a timer out and visible to the group so that they can all self-regulate their answers in response to the time remaining.

  • Step 2

    The questions (14 mins)
    The sprint lead or nominee asks the questions and keeps the meeting on track. Each team member gets one minute to respond to each round of questions.

    You need to stick firmly to the time limit. If there are complex problems that emerge that would push the meeting beyond 15 minutes, then they should be written down and ‘car-parked’. The check-in is not a planning meeting. At the end of the meeting a time can be scheduled at a later stage to determine how to resolve it.

    The questions

    Done: What have you done since our last meeting? (1 minute each)
    Stuck: Where are we getting stuck? (1 minute each)
    Tweak: What adjustments do we need to make in order to increase our success? (1 minute each)
    Next: What are we each going to focus on next? (1 minute each)

    It is crucial that you help people quickly get beyond what they have done and move into where they are getting stuck or what might need to be tweaked. Too often we avoid the necessary sharing of impediments, obstacles or confusion. Check-in’s are the ideal time to ask for or offer support to accelerate team progress.

  • Step 3

    Optional: Shout outs
    Write a thank-you post-it note that highlights the input, energy or activities of any of the other team members. Identify what you value in their contributions to the sprints team. e.g. Courage to challenge, effective use of evidence, willingness to model new teaching approaches.


Inspired By: Inspired by Scrum development stand-up meetings