How To Prevent Standup Meetings From Becoming Sit-Downs?
55 million meetings are held in the United States each day on average. That means 55 million meetings in a week and 220 million meetings in a month. Based on these numbers, the average time a professional spends in a meeting is more than 3 hours a week. And not all types of meetings are that productive. In fact, most of them could have easily been replaced by daily or regular standup meetings, giving employees more time to be in action.
Standup meetings can be a great productivity driver for any company – but only when they’re done right.
When your team is working together in a way that encourages communication and collaboration, you’ll find that identifying and solving business problems becomes easier than ever before.
That’s precisely what Standup Meetings do.
A standup meeting is a delicately nuanced method of project management that quickly gets your employees aligned and focused on overall goals.
Not only do standup meetings reduce time spent in meetings by 34 percent, but they are a recurring solution to a particular set of problems that occur when a group of people attempts to work together as a team.
These regular ‘check-in’ meetings are great at fostering Teamwork and Transparency. They serve as a great tool that encourages communication and builds camaraderie.
But the important question is: How do you make a ‘perfect’ standup meeting happen?
Below, I have listed some quick tips that will help you get started on the right foot.
So, here you go!
Keep it Small
If your standup has more than 15 members, then that leaves less than a minute for each member to speak as it takes time to start and end the meeting, the transition between tasks or speakers, etc.
This doesn’t necessarily mean telling a few people to stop coming to standups and leave it at that. You might need to rearrange teams so that everyone attends a small but effective standup.
Stick to the Three Questions
Standup meetings are generally informal, but it’s essential that they still have structure and clearly defined goals. Most standups consist of each team member sharing three key pieces of information:
- What did I do yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What blockers stand in my way?
Make sure the members don’t ‘Wing it’
It will just be a waste of time if team members show up unprepared. Nobody benefits when a team member makes stuff up because it’s their turn to speak, and they aren’t ready. Therefore it’s imperative that the members of the team come prepared and when they know what to say the standup meetings become quicker, more concise, and more informative.
Standup meetings sometimes tend to devolve into pointless updates that no one pays attention to. Make sure everyone knows the goal of the standup, so they understand what to share and how to share it. The standup meeting is not a time to solve issues, debate approaches to a problem, or teach somebody how to do something.
Standups’ agenda mainly aims to address a limited number of topics, but employees should not be punished if discussion strays and creative ideas begin to form. Encourage these people to continue their conversations offline and continue the meeting.
To make your workflow well-organized, schedule standup meetings at the same time each day. As a result, all the participants will be concise and prepared.
Every standup need a leader
The leadership can rotate to create autonomy, or be designated to maintain consistency. Soliciting ideas from your team on how leadership should be structured is a great way to get everyone invested.
In either case, the person who facilitates the standup must balance time-awareness and flexibility. Even the most productive, focused teams will find themselves going off on tangents from time to time. It’s up to the meeting leader to keep the standup meeting on track.
Fifteen Minutes or Less
Most people will wander mentally when they are in long meetings. A long, droning meeting is a horrible, energy-draining way to start the day.
Therefore keep the daily standups to Fifteen Minutes or Less. As a general rule, after fifteen minutes, the average person’s mind is going to wander, which doesn’t help with setting focus. When the process is time-bound, it forces the team into brevity.
Keep it interesting
A common way of making your standups dull is to take turns for speaking in a standard clockwise/anti-clockwise fashion. One of the easiest ways to breathe life into a standup meeting is introducing an unpredictable ordering mechanism, like tossing a speaking token (e.g., a ball) to determine who should speak next.
Because no-one knows where the ball will go next, they are watching and engaged with the person speaking. Knowing who to pass to next means each person must be paying attention and taking into account all those who have already spoken.
The mood of the team members lightens up, resulting from a sense of fun.
Pump in some energy
A great standup is fun, focused, engaging, and leaves the team pumped up for a long day of working together. The following tactics can keep your standup meeting from feeling like yet another chore:
- Playing a funny song to signal the start of the standup meeting
- Kicking off the standup by sharing a funny joke, story, gif, or meme
- Taking a quick moment to remind the team about the value of their work by any positive customer feedback
- Encouraging team members to thank each other after a task is completed
- Think of a team cheer or some sort of signature sign off for the end of the meeting – this is a great way to foster a sense of team spirit
Standup meetings, when run effectively, are vital in helping the entire team figure out how to accomplish business goals.
But communication remains an obvious obstacle considering the challenging phase we as a world are going through. When employees are not physically in the office, there is a possibility of them feeling isolated, and hence it’s all the more essential for you to bring your team together. In such situations, video conferencing apps like TelebuJoin and audio conferencing apps like grptalk come in handy, enabling long-distance interaction and promoting overall collaboration.
To conclude, standup meetings foster a more robust team culture among employees. They allow one another to see that everybody is focused on the same goals. These short meetings give all stakeholders a chance to learn about how the team is functioning as a unit.
Ready to ace your next standup meeting? I bet you are.