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Make Stand-Up Meetings Matter.

Make Stand-Up Meetings Matter.

The Difference Between A Stand-up and A Meeting. 

In this post, we explore how to create effective daily stand-up meetings with your teams that yield to successful weekly results. This method also works with folks dialing-in remote.

In the age of startups and fast-paced jobs, as employees, we require clarity on large tasks and menial ones that live on our long-to-do lists. Stand-ups are short daily meetings that usually take place the first thing in the morning, they are made to save our sanity, to track projects within teams, and track progress.

Building transparency and empathy is very important for a team to be productive. In a healthy work environment, leaders are required to isolate problems based on needs and set priorities to transform stand-up sessions into meetings. Usually, stand-ups take shorter time and don’t go in-depth as meetings would.


Work Better To Collaborate Faster.

Everyday at our offices, we try to find new ways to proactively collaborate and effectively communicate. In our busy lives, sometimes we don’t really know when is a good time to follow up with our Project Managers.

Being in the right mindset as employees is very important.

First of all, the person conducting stand-up meetings should be mindful that team members are already away from their desks to show up for this quick meeting and want to get back to work as soon as they possibly can. So the duration of stand-ups should be less than half the time of meetings.

Second, when there is an existing lingering problem, managers are required to extend stand-ups into longer meetings and involve the right people to the assigned projects.

Let’s say a designer on the product team wants to tackle a problem and needs help from other teams or members. The solution is that they talk to their manager to set up a meeting to discuss this issue at-length and try not to linger with this issue during stand-ups.


How to Conduct Stand-up Sessions With Your Team.

Stand-ups are a short form of presenting conclusions, takeaways, and quick predictions on completed tasks. They are not conducted to put fires off. Stand-ups usually take place at the beginning of a workday when the team is all gathered around. These sessions can vary from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the number of individuals present. Every setting is different, but in general, from its name, stand-up meetings take place with the team standing up – if that’s an option – as they go around in a circle sharing updates.

I divided stand-up discussion topics into the following buckets:

Depending on the context and project deadlines, usually projects are addressed in the form of what took place, what is happening now, and what is going to happen next. Below are some examples of questions asked during stand-ups:


Tasks Completed in the Past:

  1. What is the status of our previous tasks? (we can explain where we left off on Friday if the stand-up is on a Monday).

  2. What challenges did each of us face in our team?

  3. What are the wins from yesterday?


Work in Progress Tasks and Related Topics for the Present:

  1. What are the priority tasks for today?

  2. What are next steps that can help fix this problem?

  3. Who needs help today the most, and how can the team divide and conquer?
    (this question is an exception to the rule, in this scenario, when a team member needs to know more, a meeting with the manager should be scheduled.)


What are we Doing About Future Projects and Timelines?

  1. Where do we start on a project?

  2. Is there previous reference or similar work done? (This economizes time spent on creating designs that have been used in the past, it might be helpful to look at previous work, decide if it needs redesign, and to match with the brand guidelines and design systems within the company.)

  3. Setting up work intentions. (In this case, teams explain what they’re working on this week, foreseeing that it would take, for example, almost 4 weeks to complete.)

  4. Clarifying the duration of the project.


Immediate And Long Term Benefits For Stand-ups

There are many great benefits to stand-ups or else successful large companies wouldn’t have adopted this communication method.

Let’s use this scenario as an example; During a stand-up one morning, while you brief the team on your updates and project status, to save your time, someone may immediately catch your attention by letting you know that this problem has been tackled before and can direct you to the right person.

Let’s say in product design, you’re working on a new feature for in-app messages, and a developer says to you these mockups already exist in our database.

To capitalize on time and maximize efficiency, we might refer to this resource, but we can choose wisely if this will actually help us or if we need to build something entirely new.

It’s a choice you can make but it never hurts to dig into company files and see what is there already.

The immediate result is that everyone feels proactive for sharing and helping. The long term results is that people will believe in the power and magic of stand-up communication.


General Benefits for Stand-ups

Stand-ups tend to be more concise than meetings that are usually more general or broader. During Meetings, the head of departments attend to disclose information on progress, discuss roadmaps, and future timelines. Stand-ups create transparency and build trust. They allow team members to work fast, and fix things faster.

Your coworker might hear you talk about a specific project and it would hit them that they can contribute to a piece of information that you might need, or the other way around.

It gives an opportunity to help if someone needs an extra tip. Exchanging ideas and sharing information creates flows that resembles one of the most collaborative environments – the beehive ecosystem.


Future Benefits for Stand-ups

When someone realizes or discovers important resources that can help accelerate other team members and reach their goals, that is when we know we can rely on direct and efficient stand-up meetings.

There is always time to begin stand-ups even if your team has never had one.

When we get in the habit every morning of talking to our colleagues while standing up, we exchange the most fruitful and efficient ideas that lead to building amazing products that can benefit our world.

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