Stand-up Meetings


Not just for agile software teams anymore! Daily stand-up meetings let team members share progress and surface any blocking issues.

AND I NEED THIS... WHY?

That moment when you're neck-deep in a task, only to learn that a teammate has been working on the same thing, and they've already completed it. Or when you thought a teammate owned a task and they thought you owned it? Or when you have a tough challenge that is blocking you and after days of struggling your team mate, goes "oh that's easy, just do this" and it's done.

But you can avoid that sinking feeling. Huddling up with your team for a few minutes each day is an easy way to share updates on progress and what everyone is planning to tackle next.

WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED?

Get your core team together for sure. If there are stakeholders who want to listen in, that's cool – but this is your time to speak, not theirs.

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Stand-up meetings facilitate communication amongst teammates.
People

4 - 8

Time

10 min

Difficulty

Easy

Running the play

Set up a calendar tickler or alarm that goes off at the same time each day. Bonus points if the alarm plays "Careless Whisper".

MATERIALS
  • Clock or timer
  • Throwable object (optional)
Step

Stand up

Get up out of your seats! Stand in a circle near your desks.

And seriously: STAND UP. Being on your feet helps remind you to keep your updates brief and only share what's applicable to all (or most) team members.

Need a sidebar? During your update, mention that you need to grab a few minutes with that one teammate after the stand-up meeting.

ANTI-PATTERN

Just... I mean... this says it all. 

Step

Sync up

Each team member shares a bit about the progress they've made since the last stand-up, their plan for the day, and whether they're blocked at all. Don't go into excruciating detail – just the highlight reel is fine. (Curious teammates can always follow up with you for a deeper dive after the meeting.)

If any team members are working remotely, fire up a call using HipChat, or your video chat tool-of-choice. You should totally still stand up, though.

And for all you trans-continental teams, get creative with the scheduling. While most teams prefer to hold stand-up meetings in the morning, that's not a requirement. Choose the time that works best for you.

 

Pro tip

Keep it lively by going in random order. Toss an object (a hat, a ball, a rubber chicken...) to a teammate to let them know it's their turn.

Step

Wrap it up

Leave a couple of minutes for an open forum for additional updates on projects, etc. in the usual stand-up format.

That's the whole meeting! You're done. Wasn't that easy?

Nailed it?

Be sure to run a full Health Monitor session or checkpoint with your team to see if you're improving.

Find your Health Monitor

Variations

KEEP IT ON TASK

Conduct your standup around a task board and have a facilitator run through each task or issue related to your project. Discuss what needs to be done to move each issue along, whether it makes sense for someone to help out, and roughly how much work is remaining.

SHOW AND TELL

Instead of using the 10 minutes to update each other on the status of your work, use it to share tricks of the trade or that cool article you read this morning on the train. If nobody has anything to share on a given day, you can always dig into some data – how are you tracking on your OKRs? any interesting spikes in traffic to your site lately? etc. 

Follow-ups

If any blockers were raised, make sure you know who will chase them up.

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