Standup meetings are not the drawn out discussions that many people imagine conventional meetings to be. For one, participants are supposed to be on their feet for the duration of the standup (hence the name), so the discussion has to be quick. You don’t have to actually be standing up for virtual standups, of course, but your meeting should ideally still be brief.
Additionally, standups are a project management process, so they’re not held to discuss just about any subject. Rather, the primary goal of standups is to keep team members updated on their colleagues’ tasks, as well as the factors that may affect the quality or completion of their outputs.
Standups are meant to be straightforward, but they don’t have to be boring either. Here are tips to make your standup meetings more effective and exciting:
- Start and end on a high note
Because standups are usually held at the beginning of a workday, it should motivate participants for the grind ahead. A great way to do this is to always start your meeting with fun and energizing music, such as the Monty Python and the Holy Grail theme or Queen’s We Will Rock You.
As for ending the standup, you can do so by sharing a motivational quote or telling a joke. You may also come up with your very own sign-off phrase.
- Be mindful of time
How much time you take for a standup will depend on the size of your team. A good duration to aim for is about 15 to 30 minutes. If your team is working remotely or has members who do, then you may want to allocate more time to account for factors like technical issues and time zone differences.
- Do it in small groups
If you have a large team, it’s best to divide the members into several smaller groups, each of which will conduct their own standup. This ensures that everyone will have ample time to talk and share their progress with their colleagues.
To illustrate, a 15-minute standup gives 20 participants just less than a minute of talk time each. On the other hand, dividing the team into four equally sized groups will give each member three minutes to discuss their points.
- Keep your focus
The best way to keep your standups brief and concise is to stay focused on as few goals as you can. A few digressions can be allowed, especially if these lead to the development of creative ideas that will ultimately benefit your process and the team. But if you find that the conversation is straying too far from your goals, don’t hesitate to segue back to your original topic.
To help you stay focused, have the participants answer these three questions. As these questions can have broad answers, keep them focused on a 24- or 48-hour window.
- What have you accomplished so far?
- What tasks are you currently doing or plan on doing?
- What obstacles do you expect to encounter?
- Evaluate your standup meetings
After your first few standups, take the time to evaluate the meeting. Different strategies work for different teams, so evaluation will help you determine the best approach. For example, you may find that people do not have enough time to speak or that your questions are too rigid. Whatever points you find, you can use these to come up with a formula that best suits your team.
- Be consistent
Conduct standups regularly and at the same time, even when not everyone is present. While complete participation is ideal, waiting for stragglers is counterproductive, as delaying your meeting will only delay everyone else.
On a related note, consistency makes standups a part of your team’s routine. Unfortunately, a routine can easily become monotonous. Keep in mind that standups are supposed to keep your team alert, so the moment these become tedious, look for ways to do your meetings differently. For instance, you could try conducting the meeting using a different format or in a different area in the office.
Standups are a great way to keep your team efficient and focused on tasks that contribute to your business’s growth. While you’re doing that, you can trust our team of experts at In-Touch IT to manage your IT systems and protect your crucial business data safe from cyberthreats. Schedule a consultation with our specialists today.