In the world of startups, standup meetings are common practice. Standups are opportunities for team members to gather regularly and update each other on how they’re progressing with their work. During updates, they also let the team know if they anticipate any obstacles or dependencies to completing deliverables on time.
Among small teams especially, standups are a great way to instill ownership across team members. But how do you actually conduct a standup?
When should you hold a standup?
Standups should happen at regular intervals at the same, mutually agreed-upon time–even on days when some team members are unavailable. Each workplace is different, and standups may work better once a week first thing in the morning at some companies or every day after lunch at others. The most important things are to find a time that’s convenient for most of the group, and to be consistent with your schedule.
Who should attend a standup?
Everyone on the team should take part in the standup. If people are working remotely, make sure you facilitate a video call. The face-to-face connection is more powerful than just plain audio.
What should you discuss during a standup?
People should update the team about what they’re working on, the expected delivery time, lessons learned so far, and any challenges that have arisen. At the end of the standup, everyone should have a clear idea of work priorities.
How long should a standup be?
Standups are traditionally held standing up (shocking, right?), so as to not make team members so comfortable that the meetings take an extended amount of time. Regardless of whether you stand up or sit down, standups should be quick–no longer than 15 minutes. The need may arise to further address conflicts or problem-solving, but these discussions should be noted and held separately from standup. A standup servers as an update, not a forum for solving problems.
Standups can bring numerous benefits to small teams. They provide a platform for people to acknowledge the support or contributions of other team members. By getting a collective snapshot of the day’s or week’s work, team leaders are well-positioned to make any necessary course corrections. Regardless of your industry, standups will foster communication, transparency and collaboration–and what company doesn’t want their workplace culture to include those traits?
Image credit: Alan Jones
About the author
Vinod Kumaar is part of Recruiterbox’s engineering team. He’s interested in improving workplace efficiency and in solving big problems through a series of small, simple steps.