It’s 09:59. You reluctantly click the Google Meet link for your team’s daily stand-up call.
“Let’s make this quick,” you mutter. But 30 minutes later, you emerge from the virtual world, drained of energy and realising nothing was accomplished.
Is there a better way?
Check out my post on 𝕏 if you want to see how others feel about daily stand-ups.
The Daily Ritual
Stand-up meetings are a ritual in the modern workplace.
They have a noble purpose: Align the team on priorities. Find potential blockers. And feel like a cohesive team.
In my 9-5, I have a stand-up call every morning at 10 a.m.
In that call, we ask each person three questions (there are about 9 of us).
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you work on today?
- Are there any blockers?
Can you see the problem yet?
All these questions could answered using a simple form.
Streamline Your Stand-ups
Here are a few ways to streamline your stand-ups.
Move to asynchronous updates.
If you’re a heavy Slack user like me, Geekbot is a great add-on.
See those three stand-up questions from above? Geekbot will ask them for you and show your answers in a dedicated Slack channel.
Everyone gets updated without the need for a meeting.
Consolidate your meetings
Now you’ve got your async answers, do you need a meeting every day?
Each week, I attend:
- a sprint retrospective
- a sprint demo
- an engineering review meeting for management
- and daily stand-up calls
You’ve heard of batch tasks. Why not batch meetings?
These could be grouped into a single one or 2-hour call each week. How much time would that save you?
More 1:1 meetings
We mentioned blockers earlier. What if you have a problem that you need help with?
Simple. Reach out to the person who can help you.
I’ve spent a lot of wasted time in meetings listening to other people try to solve an issue that is outside of my scope.
The goal is to do more focused work while maintaining alignment with the rest of the team.
Cal Newport introduced me to deep work, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
Ruthlessly cut and combine your meetings to improve both productivity and connection.
And if you are going to be made to have daily stand-ups, don’t have them at 10 a.m. I get no focused work done in that first hour of the day.
Stand-up meetings keep teams glued together when used judiciously. But done thoughtlessly, they turn into creativity killers.
- Rethink daily stand-ups by using tools like Geekbot.
- Batch your meetings.
- Carve out time for deep work.
How much time do you think you could save on meetings each week?