Follow-up from: Best Daily Standup Tools & Software for 2022
Time is one of our most precious assets. The “time is money” concept is probably more accurate now than ever. Thanks to the technological revolution that society has experienced in the last 20 years, people can automate and develop new strategies for efficient day-to-day tasks.
Meetings can be considered a task since they are part of everyone’s schedule, whether it is daily or weekly. However, instead of spending hours in a not-so-productive webinar or conference room, people prefer to optimize meeting length as much as possible.
In the software development world, there are a couple of methodologies such as Agile, Scrum, and Kanban; you may or may not be familiar with them, but these methodologies have helped a lot of teams around the world with their project flow.
One of the most useful techniques that these methodologies have in common is the Daily Standup Meeting (a.k.a. Daily Scrum or Daily Huddle). Agile teams often have many tasks going on every day. They have to meet — preferably on a daily basis — to check on the overall team progress, which means their meeting time should be optimized as much as possible.
Nowadays, not only the software development field can benefit from this meeting technique, but also product development, sales, growth marketing, project management, and many more sorts of teams around the world.
What’s a Daily Standup Meeting?
Born back in the ’90s, daily standups are recurring meetings where the team literally stands up in front of a board with the project plan. These meetings are usually 15 minutes long and are held daily. The goal is to share status reports with the rest of the team and plan the next 24 hours swiftly, hence the standing up.
This is the perfect meeting technique for busy teams that cannot afford to have unnecessarily lengthy discussions. Just think about your regular meeting, but faster. Everyone shares their report and now you’re ready to go, sounds good, huh?
Of course, standing up is just one way to do it. In today’s world, many companies have their teams working from home and should adjust to that. Daily standup meetings are required to stay in the loop with the rest of the remote team. People are now able to have daily standup meetings through a group video call or with an automated written report. Very simple.
There are 3 main questions used in daily standups:
A regular daily standup
• What did you do yesterday?
• What are you planning to do today?
• Are you facing any blockers?
Besides saving time, these questions also help teams to check what is done, what needs to be done, and who may need help finishing a task.
Frequently asked questions about daily standups
What should be covered in a standup meeting?
Start by explaining why you're holding this meeting. The purpose of a standup meeting should be clear from its name—you only need about 15 minutes because no one is going to take up too much time discussing things other than what's currently going on in their workday.
If someone asks if they can discuss something else, explain that this isn't appropriate during this portion of your team meeting (and offer alternatives). The idea behind standups is that everyone will get up from their desks and walk around while talking about what they've been doing since yesterday's standup and what they plan to accomplish today.
How long should a daily standup last?
- Standups should not be more than 15 minutes.
- Standups that are too long can become boring, as many people get tired of sitting around. This can cause them to tune out and stop paying attention, which leads to an unproductive meeting.
Who owns the daily standup?
Daily standups are a team activity, not a manager activity. The daily standup is a way for the team to synchronize on their work and keep each other informed of what they're doing, so it's important that everyone is present and contributes to the conversation—including non-developers such as designers or product managers in cross-functional teams.
How much time should a daily standup usually take?
The length of a daily standup meeting should be about 15 minutes. This is the one rule that you should always stick to, even if the team members involved have been taking longer than necessary.
While it might seem like a good idea for each team member who comes into the room to give a detailed update on their work, this could easily become an hour-long meeting if all of them were allowed to do so.
A daily standup shouldn't be used as an opportunity for tactical meetings; instead, it's meant to keep everyone in sync with what's going on at any given time and provide visibility into any issues that need attention right away (e.g., bugs).
What to discuss in a daily standup?
The most important thing to discuss in daily standups is the status of your tasks. The team should also discuss any obstacles you're encountering, as well as how you plan to overcome them.
If you are not sure what to talk about during your daily standup meeting, ask yourself: "What have I accomplished since the last time we met?" If you have completed a task, be sure that it's on the board and update it with details of what was done and by whom.
If there are no new updates from other team members, make a note of which parts of your project are still being worked on so that everyone remains informed about progress overall.
If something is blocking your progress (like an issue with another team member), this should also be discussed during daily standups so other people don't waste time working on something that will get rejected later by someone else due to lack of communication or planning ahead by everyone involved in completing tasks together.
5 Tips for productive daily standups
As we previously stated, the 3 main questions for daily scrum meetings are:
1. What did you do yesterday?
2. What are you planning to do today?
3. Do you have any blockers?
But there’s a catch! Most people do more than a few things a day, different projects come with different challenges and not everyone is good at boiling priorities down.
Instead, ask the following questions:
1. What key items did you work on yesterday?
2. What are your priorities for the day?
3. Are there any blockers? If so, what or who is it?
2. Make it recurring
Schedule the meeting at a suitable time for all the team members. We recommend doing it first thing in the morning when everyone is ready to start a new workday, this also ensures that everyone’s plan is in sync.
3. Set a goal
Make sure everyone understands the objective of the meeting and share their status report promptly. Keep it straight to the point, and develop an agenda focused on the high priority items and the goal to achieve that day, if necessary.
4. Time each participant
The essence of daily standups is to keep check-ins short. Since the meeting duration is 15 minutes, we want to make sure that all team members have enough time to participate. Set a timer and give them up to one minute to speak.
5. Use DailyBot to run automated daily standups
Probably you have a very busy team, or you just want to optimize processes in your company. Either way, you can automate daily standups with DailyBot; just integrate it into your current chat platform, and voilà! now you will receive everyone’s report in minutes. If you already use DailyBot, check our guide and learn how to automate daily standups.
I hope this post helped you learn about how daily standups work and why they are important. These meetings enable teams to communicate more efficiently and keep each other accountable for the work that needs to be done. They also help team members reflect on how to improve their efficiency and productivity in the future. Everyone should participate in these meetings because it is only through collaboration that we can achieve our goals as an organization.
How to automate daily standups?
How many zoom meetings do you have a day as a remote worker? If the answer is more than 3, you might be having less productive time than you should have, and you’re probably spending too much time on unnecessary meetings. No wonder why most people feel mentally exhausted after an hour-long session with coworkers and struggle to put ideas to work.
A recent Microsoft Human Factors Labs study discovered that remote collaboration is more mentally taxing than in-person collaboration. Shocking, right? This is the reason why many companies are switching to written standups. Asynchronous standup meetings can turn the table to more productive time and less time on calls.
You can find some bots on Slack to automate daily standups or daily scrums and free more time for deep work, with DailyBot being one of them:
DailyBot gives you a set of tools to improve asynchronous work and collaboration. Run agile daily standups, retrospectives, or periodic check-ins like 1:1s and get quick follow-ups to identify bottlenecks and help those who are blocked, regardless of their location or time zone.
Reports can be posted to chat channels, and participants can also subscribe for daily or weekly activity digests.
You can also run retrospectives, product and planning feedback surveys, or sprint health checks to name a few.
Reflect on work and keep improving. Retrospectives and feedback play a key role in your development cycle. It’s never too late to start with it if you're not doing it. Integrate your stakeholders' feedback easily before you start your pre-planning activities. The results of your standup meetings and feedback can be sent to relevant stakeholders and coworkers. This enables everyone to stay updated on team progress saving time on zoom meetings.
You'll get all the feedback organized in the web app or shared with your chat channels. Export it to XLS, CSV, PDF, or create automation connecting it with more than 2,000 apps with our integrations.
Other key questions you can ask during your planning standups are:
- How confident are you about our product plan?
- Is there any key feature that we’re missing and should be prioritized?
- Would you suggest a different order of priorities?
Who’s the DailyBot app for?
- Anyone looking to maximize productive time.
- Teams looking for more than a daily standup bot.
- Small and large teams with many daily meetings.
- Companies with teams in different time zones.