standups

start everyday with everyone coordinated

when to use

when you have any group of people that need to work together on an ongoing basis


when not to use

when you have a hard hierarchal structure standups will turn into reporting which defeats the purpose. in these cases people will obfuscate the truth and pretend or lie to make everything sound better than reality. 


why it works

when people report to each other in a structured and brief manner on a regular basis it increases their overall ability to communicate more efficiently. it not only coordinates the daily tasks, it opens up opportunities for collaboration, it highlights issues and it increases psychological safety


equipment

  • no equipment is necessary, however using a piece of software or a post it board to track tasks can be useful (see resources below for suggestions)


how to do it

  1. set a calendar invite with a video conference link recurring every day at the start of the day (10:30 is the absolute latest)
  2. get on a video call - often people will join a few minutes early to get some morning pleasantries out of the way
  3. each person answers three questions: what did I do yesterday? what do I plan to do today? do I need help to unblock any issues?
  4. end as soon as the last person has finished - I often end with a single clap or coordinated sign-off so that everyone agrees that it has come to an end
  5. if there are issues that come up, the necessary people can connect to resolve them as a team


things to note

  • start exactly on time
  • you don't want standup to go on for more than 15 minutes maximum
  • have everyone stand up, even of you are remote, this encourges a speedy finish
  • make the answers brief with just enough information for everyone to understand your activities but not too much detail
  • each individual ought to prepare for standup with a summary of what you did and plan to do, keeping a to-do list can help
  • let the order of people change naturally from day-to-day - if you are the person in charge, try not to go first or last
  • make this about focusing on coordinating with each other moving forward, not 'reporting to the boss’

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