Check-in

Tags: Flow

Check-in allows managers and team leads to get an overview of a team member's contributions and set goals for their team. Use Check-in to get concise, data-driven status updates on engineers’ work before and during 1:1s. This helps 1:1s run more efficiently and focuses the conversation on what really matters.


Selecting a user and date range

Click the down arrow to select the team member you want to view in the user filter. Then, select the desired Date range, Team, and Nested teams, if applicable. 

Tip: Click Replay tutorial to rewatch the walkthrough modal.

After selecting your user and date range, the Check-in report provides you with insights on where the team member is doing well and they can improve. 

Use this insight to inform what short term goals you set for yourself or your team members.

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Setting short term goals

Use short term goals to help team members set specific, realistic goals and define success in order to guide week-over-week improvement. Anyone with access to Check-in can edit their personal short term goals. Though, we suggest that only managers and team leads have access to edit others' goals.

To set short term goals, click the Edit goals button.

Next, select an objective value from the Objective dropdown list. 

Each objective corresponds with a specific metric.

GoalMetric(s)
Streamline workflow and remove blockers like unbatched meetings to have more time to create solutions in the code baseCoding days
Make small, more frequent commits to make commits easier to review and enable CI/CDCommits per day
Clarify requirements and scope up front to increase the quality and maintainability of written code.Efficiency
Reduce risk by reducing the number of PRs that are merged without being reviewedUnreviewed, PRs
Maintain focus on new features by spending more time committing new code while maintaining a small and steady commitment to rewriting/cleaning old codeNew work, Legacy refactor
Focus on rewriting old code and helping coworkers with their code to improve the overall quality of the codebaseLegacy refactor, Helping others
Remove bottlenecks (like long running asynchronous communication between devs) in the PR review process to enable timely merges of PRs into the code base.Time to merge


Add a target value to help track progress over time, and click the Save goal button.

Be sure to enter targets that are achievable in the time between 1:1s. Goals should be small enough that you see incremental improvement between 1:1s but also large enough that you challenge your team members to grow over time.

Note: If the user performs at or above the team average in the selected objective, the Check-in report will encourage them to select a different objective.

Once you save the goal, the goal and current progress will appear on the Check-in homepage at the bottom of the short term goals widget.

As team members hit their goals, be sure to go back and edit their goals by clicking on the Edit goals button and selecting a new objective or adjusting the current objective values.

Use this data to advocate for yourself or your team members and drive the metrics that matter to you.

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Viewing commit focus

Commit focus shows the percentage of each work type contributed by a team member in the selected date range. The Check-in report categorizes a user's work according to the following four types: New Work, Legacy Refactor, Help Others, and Rework (churn).

Look for a balance of work between these four types. For example, you might expect Legacy Refactor to be at 55%. If you see that it is below 55%, use your 1:1 to explore why and what you both can do to better set and meet goals.

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Viewing commit complexity

Commit complexity is a measure of how likely it is that a particular commit will cause problems. The Check-in report ingests all of a user’s commits and classifies each as Low, Medium, or High complexity.

Some complexity is expected. Watch for spikes in complexity toward the end of a sprint. Spikes may indicate setbacks to accomplishing you and your team’s goals.

Click on the Show details dropdown to view an in-depth look at the complexity and focus of specific commits.

Filter commits by their complexity using the commit complexity filter to get a closer look and identify patterns that may warrant follow-up conversations in your 1:1s. Click on a worktype column, such as Legacy refactor, to sort the results by worktype.

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Viewing codebase contribution and code/review balance

The code/review balance matrix measures code/review balance by comparing coding days to the number of reviewed PRs. Hover over the data points to see an exact breakdown of a team member's code/review balance as well as the average code/review balance of whichever team occupies the team filter.

Use the code/review balance matrix to get a sense of the balance between time spent coding and time spent reviewing PRs. Expect more senior engineers to review more PRs. Ensure your engineers practice a healthy balance between individual contributions and PR review and collaboration. 


Click on the dropdown menu to view the codebase contribution matrix. 


The codebase contribution matrix measures codebase contribution by comparing impact to efficiency percentage in order to illustrate the cognitive difficulty of a set of work and how much rework was required to accomplish it. 


Hover over the data points to see an exact breakdown of a team member's codebase contribution as well as the average codebase contribution of whichever team occupies the team filter. 

If impact increases, look for efficiency to hold relatively steady. High impact commits should only happen at certain times in the project’s lifecycle. Try to avoid high impact commits at the end of a sprint or during the fit and finish stage of a project.

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Using work log view

The work log view in the activity section helps you spot patterns and trends within your team member's' activity. Managers and engineers can get an overview of users’ recent work. Both manager and engineer can review this section before 1:1s. This helps make 1:1s more efficient by keeping you on the same page regarding work status. Spend more time asking the right questions instead of going over a status update.

Use the Show filter to select which commit types, PR activity, PR comments, or Ticket activity you'd like to see.

Use the Weekends toggle to choose whether the chart displays activity from weekends. Look at activity from prior weeks by clicking the Previous page and Next page arrows on the right. Hover over an icon to view more details about that activity. 

Note: If you're looking at a date range longer than a week, move between weeks by using the previous or next week buttons.

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Using pull requests view

The PR section shows the PRs open during the selected time frame. Managers can use the PR section to gain insight into open, long-running PRs and see where an engineer needs assistance. Once the manager understands how to help their team, they can provide help and coaching.

Narrow down which PRs you see by choosing a Sort by option, like Recently opened, Biggest, and Least activity. Using these filters means you see exactly which pull requests you're interested in.

Hover over a pull request to view more information about it, such as recently committed code or comments. Click on a PR to see the pull request's number and a link to view the pull request itself.

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If you need help, please email support@pluralsight.com for 24/7 assistance.