A weekly review is a method that helps teams get meaningful work done. As the name suggests, a weekly review is a review that every member of team fills out at the end of each week. The review itself usually consists of a couple of questions that help the team members reflect on the happenings of the last work week. The weekly review method itself is flexible because a team can decide on which questions to include in the reviews. Therefore, you can tweak this method for almost any use case in the context of teamwork.
Although this method is especially useful in teams, many people are also using weekly reviews to structure their personal lives. The advantages you can enjoy with this method as a team also apply to personal growth and other areas of your life that don't directly relate to your work life.
As outlined before, using the weekly review method in teams has many different advantages. From improved clarity in one's work up to better conflict management, advantages are versatile and visible. In the next paragraph, I will outline some of the most important advantages we were able to experience in our startup team at wespond.
Firstly, the weekly review helps me as a team leader have a better overview of what everyone has been working on without micromanaging our team members. Nowadays, it is important to trust your employees and not watch every step they take closely. What matters more is that you give your employees the freedom to be creative and get meaningful work done. In the end, the only thing that matters is progress. Nevertheless, as a team leader, it is important to lead a team so results get achieved. The weekly review helps me have an overview of the different projects without talking to my team members every hour and see what they are up to.
Consequently, the weekly review method helps me save a lot of time during my busy work week. Simply reviewing the answers from my team on the weekend makes me prepared for the upcoming week and I can focus on the strategic questions and responsibilities.
Being driven by delivering results, never-ending todo-lists and long video calls, it sometimes becomes hard for teams to take the time and reflect on where they are going. At the same time, mindful reflections on the contributions of team members have become more important than ever. That's another reason why I love the weekly review method so much. It makes reflections part of the work culture without having yet another meeting or a new tool. Every team member can simply reflect on his contribution in his weekly review - effortlessly.
The weekly review is flexible and you can tweak it with your own questions to make it truly yours. At our team, we tested different questions and came up with a list of the three most powerful questions for a weekly review.
What was your highlight last week?
The first question is great to focus on the great results one has achieved in the last week. While understanding what an employee has been working on, you also get a better understanding of what changes have been perceived as positive. Did your team enjoy the last team event? How is everyone feeling about the new product launch? Asking about the highlight helps your team remember why they love working in your team and what great things are happening.
What was your lowlight/learning?
While positivity is important to positively reinforce motivation, being critical with one's self is crucial for growth. This question enables your team members to critically reflect on things that didn't go as well in the last week. Was there too much workload? Is one step in the process always slowing down everything? This helps you understand better where you can improve as a team and is a great effort in the pursuit of collaborative learning.
What do you want to focus on next week?
While reflecting on the last week is important, talking about the future matters as much. The third question for the weekly review is a true winner. As you might know, if you set goals yourself, you are more likely to actually achieve them and put in your best work. That's why this question is so powerful. As a team leader, you can use the insights from this question to make better decisions in prioritization for the tasks in your team. Further, you might gather great ideas for new projects through this question in the weekly review.
Having a method like the weekly review in place is great. But, it is important to remember that in the end actions speak louder than words. That's the reason why as a team leader you need to be prepared to deal with the insights you gather from a method like the weekly review.
At wespond, we use the insights we get from the weekly review to structure our monday morning meeting and talk about the results from last week. We learned that it is still important to have face-to-face meetings and talk about the last week. The weekly review method helped us save time in those meetings because we can focus on discussing important topics and not just reporting about the last week. This has been a huge addition to our workflow in terms of productivity and progress.
The weekly review is a great method for teams to make teamwork better while improving productivity. Especially in the times of remote work, it has become more important than ever to make time for reflections on a weekly basis.
The benefits you can enjoy with the methods are an increase sense of clarity and overview on the work of the past week, mindful reflections and more streamlined progress towards your goals.