Why is a checkpoint necessary?

Sections of this topic

    Ever feel a meeting start to drift? Not sure if your participants retained what was being said? Or, have you ever been unsure of how to (gracefully) transition to the next agenda topic?

    That’s where checkpoints come in handy…

    Use a checkpoint at the beginning of a new agenda item or facilitated process to review, preview and big view.

    • Review – Review quickly what has been done to date.
    • Preview – Describe briefly what the group is about to do.
    • Big View – Explain how the previewed agenda item fits into the overall objective of the session.
    Sample Agenda

    Purpose: Define the changes necessary to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process.


    A. Getting Started

    B. How does the hiring process work today?

    C. What are the problems and root causes?

    D. What are the potential improvements?

    E. Prioritize the improvements

    F. Develop an implementation plan

    G. Review and close

    Take a look at the agenda above. Suppose we were about to start the second agenda item, “How does the hiring process work today?” We might have a checkpoint such as the following.

    Sample Checkpoint: We have just completed the getting started segment (review). Our next step is to identify how the hiring process works today (preview). This is important because if we can identify all the steps in the process, we can then examine where in the process the problems are occurring and then identify ways to make it a much better process (big view). The way we are going to do this is…

    So… Why is a checkpoint necessary? The checkpoint serves to ensure that all participants are aware that a transition is taking place, and helps them understand how the process they are about to undertake relates to what has been done and the overall session purpose.


    Certified Master Facilitator Michael Wilkinson is the CEO and Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, Inc., The Facilitation Company, and author of the new The Secrets of Facilitation 2nd Edition, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, and The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy. Leadership Strategies is a global leader in facilitation services, providing companies with dynamic professional facilitators who lead executive teams and task forces in areas like strategic planning, issue resolution, process improvement, and others. The company is also a leading provider of meeting facilitation training in the United States.