How do you get everyone on the same page in a remote team?
The answer: daily standups!
For the unintroduced, daily standups are commonly used by development teams, where the team meets for 15 minutes to give a status update.
Maybe you’ve tried it before or maybe you’re thinking of implementing it in your remote organisation. Either way, daily standups may not always run smoothly.
A friend once told us that his team’s daily standups stretched from 15 minutes to an hour, and they had to stop running standups.
At Melewi, we love our daily standups and keep them fun (we were even planking once, it was the quickest standup ever). It’s been a great way to surface obstacles and keep the team on top of everything. So, we’ve decided to share our hacks to efficient daily standups, read on to find out how!
Standups Follow this Format
The standardized version of daily standup is for each team member to answer 3 quick questions:
- What did you accomplish the day before?
- What are you going to do today?
- Are there any obstacles you’re facing?
Each team member takes their turn to answer all the questions, and when everyone’s done, the whole team has a good understanding of where everyone is at their tasks.
Our Hacks for Fun & Efficient Standups
1. Standups wait for no one
Usually once the 5-minute grace period has passed, we’ll start the standup, even if one or two team members are running late. This way, we don’t waste time waiting for everyone to turn up!
2. Everyone is expected to show up
It’s been a rule since Day 1: standups should never be missed, unless a team member is on leave or has something urgent to attend to. If someone is going to be absent, they’ll inform the slack channel before the standup.
“It’s been a rule since Day 1: standups should never be missed, unless a team member is on leave or has something urgent to attend to.”
3. Detailed discussions take place later
Standups can easily turn into hour long meetings if issues are discussed in-depth. To help us stick to the 15-minutes timebox, anything which requires longer discussions will be parked for a separate meeting. However, issues that can be quickly solved will be addressed immediately.
4. Routines & Slackbot to the rescue!
Since the standup is at the same time everyday, we don’t have to think about it and just turn up. What’s even better is that our calendar is synced with Slack, so we get reminded before the standup is about to start. With one click, we’re directed to the standup Hangouts. Yay for bots!
5. Go in a fixed sequence
Everyone’s turn is set up in a fixed sequence during standups. This keeps it simple and we don’t have to decide who should go next.
6. Goofing around is allowed
As much as we are in get-work-done mode during standups, we’ll also joke around, or chat about our lives before or after. Having fun keeps us united as a team, besides, we believe in taking work seriously, but not taking life too seriously.
Customised Daily Standups for Your Organisation
We hope that these hacks we’ve shared will help you implement successful daily standups for your team. It’s been an incredibly useful method to organise ourselves as a remote team.
Still, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. If you can find another solution to achieve the same outcome, then we encourage you to experiment away!
What’s your experience organising daily standups? Tweet us, we’d love to hear from you!