Ask Christina: Confidence Ratings

Christina Wodtke
2 min readSep 7, 2022

Hello readers! I’m going to try out a new series to build up my writing muscle. Do you have a question about OKRs, empowered teams, visual thinking or other things I know about? Ask in the comments!

Question: If you’re measuring the KRs regularly (i.e. multiple times a week) and publishing that data, then the progress of the KR is evident throughout the quarter. So what are Confidence Ratings for? In what context did you envisage the use of Confidence Ratings, and how can I use them to enhance my reporting up?

Christina Answers:

Confidence levels are a tool for adding insight to the hard numbers coming from your progress report. If all the execs see are progress numbers, they don't know if that is a trend to trust or not. What could cause those numbers to fluctuate? Is your confidence a 10 and you’re done? Or do you see trouble ahead and maybe confidence is a 4 even though the metrics are looking good?

What if you are starting to run out of ideas to move the needle? The progress report won’t show that. Sometimes tactics¹ that were working start to slow down or even stop working altogether. So the confidence level is a way of saying “Sure it looks good today but I’m worried about tomorrow.”

When your confidence goes down, it’s a prompt to the team (and your boss) to ask “why.” Then you share the issue you see coming up and your team can brainstorm what to do about it (if anything.)

You don’t necessarily need confidence scores but this is why I recommend them in Radical Focus. They exist to prompt a conversation.

Have a question about empowered teams or OKRs? Let me know!

  1. Tactics: call the tasks, projects or to do’s, they are the things you do to try to make your KRs. The stuff that belongs on your roadmap/pipeline and NOT in your key results.