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The Importance Of Daily Stand-ups For Remote Teams

The daily stand-up meeting is the common practice of taking a few minutes each day to talk about what has been completed since the last stand-up and what still needs to be done. When properly run, stand-up meetings can have many benefits. When managing remote teams, there are unique challenges to consider. This article focuses on how to effectively run stand-ups for remote teams.

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By Elliot
August 19th, 2021

Remote stand-ups are an important part of good team management, even for remote teams. These meetings are so common that many teams take them for granted. However, in the age of remote work, they can be more difficult to run than in-person meetings. That is why it is important to make sure that the remote stand-up meeting is as effective as possible.

Overview Of Daily Stand-ups

A stand-up meeting is a daily meeting where the team comes together to talk about what they have accomplished since the last stand-up, and what they still need to complete. The purpose of a stand-up meeting is to quickly check in with each member of the team to make sure that they are working effectively on their tasks, and to keep them on track. They provide a quick way to get an overview of what each team member is working on, and to see where help is needed.

Well run stand-ups are quick and to the point. The team should focus on three main things:

- What have you completed since the last stand-up?

- What are you working on now?

- Do you have any blocking issues, or anything that is preventing you from completing your work today?

Why Stand ups Matter for Remote Teams

Remote stand-ups serve many of the same purposes as in-person stand-ups. They provide the opportunity for each team member to be heard and recognized, and for leaders to stay up to date on their team's progress. Remote stand-ups are even more important for remote teams. Without the opportunity to see everyone face to face in an office environment, a remote stand-up meeting is one of the only opportunities for remote teams to get together synchronously.

These meetings are a chance to get everyone on the same page. It is a chance to check in with each other to make sure that everyone is working together, and to make sure that everyone has what they need to be successful. When working remotely, it is easy to get stuck working in isolation, and a daily stand-up meeting is a chance to avoid that.

Difference Between Remote And In-Person Stand ups

There are some key differences between in-person stand-ups and remote stand-ups. Video conferencing platforms like such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom help to make stand-ups more effective by allowing team members to see each other. Remote stand-ups are often a little longer than in-person stand-ups. The additional length allows remote team members to get a better idea of what is going on with each other.

In-person stand-ups have an advantage in that it is easier to communicate body language and non-verbal cues. Remote stand-ups require a higher level of communication. Instead of just nodding or shaking their head, remote team members have to make sure that their message is clear in their words as well as their tone. Remote team members have to be more explicit in their language, and often use screen sharing tools to explain what they are working on.

Benefits Of Good Stand ups

One of the most important benefits of good stand-ups is that they keep the team organized. They make sure that everyone is moving in the same direction, and helps everyone stay focused on what needs to be done. They create a clear communication system between team members, preventing miscommunication.

Another benefit of good stand-ups is that they allow a leader to delegate tasks more effectively. Team members will be more accountable for the work that they complete, because they have to report it in the stand-up meeting. This accountability helps keep the team organized, and helps the team leader to know what is going on with their team.

Drawbacks Of Badly-run Stand ups

If a stand-up meeting is badly run, it can be less effective than no stand-up meeting at all. If a stand-up is too long, or if there are too many interruptions, it can become a waste of time. If it isn't well-organized, it can be hard to keep track problems and potential issues. If it is poorly managed, it can be hard to keep it on track and focused. Like any meeting, stand-ups require a proper planning and facilitation to be effective.

When role are not clearly defined, it is unclear who is responsible for what. Problems experienced by the team and outcomes may not be properly captured, and may be forgotten. Meetings where the someone does not facilitate the conversation will seem disorganized, and not be pleasurable to attend.

8 Tips For Running Great Daily Stand ups

1. Keep It Short

Make sure that the stand-up meeting is kept short. Ideally 15-20 minutes is the maximum length, but these meetings can be longer if you're carving out structured time for water-cooler talk. Time spent by each team member should be clearly time-boxed. Make sure that each team member knows how much time they have, and try to keep on-topic.

2. Consistent Scheduling

Make sure that the stand-up meeting is scheduled at the same time each day. It is easy to forget remote stand-ups if they do not have consistent scheduling, and can make it hard to find a time that works for everyone. Find a time that is convenient for most of the team, and stick to it.

3. Focus Matters

It is important to make sure that everyone is focused when they attend the stand-up meeting. Do not allow interruptions during the stand-up meeting, and don't have meetings or calls scheduled immediately before or after.

4. How To Parking Lot Items

If a problem or issue comes up during the stand-up meeting, create a "parking lot" of items that need to be addressed later. These can then be handled at the end of the meeting. This makes sure that everyone stays focused on what they are working on, and doesn't get derailed by issues that need to be discussed later.

5. Making Room For Water-cooler Talk

Make sure that there is some structured time set aside for socializing and water-cooler talk. This is a chance for team members to talk about their lives outside of work, and for everyone to get to know each other better. This has the added benefit of making the remote stand-up meeting feel more like a social gathering.

6. Meeting Facilitation

Good facilitation is important for any stand-up meeting. Make sure that there is someone who is responsible for keeping the meeting on track. If this doesn't happen, the meeting can quickly derail, and no one will learn anything from it. Make sure that all voices are heard, and allow everyone to get a chance to speak.

7. Sharing Meeting Minutes

After the stand-up meeting, send out the meeting minutes to the entire team. Include action items, notes, and other issues discussed during the meeting. This ensures that everyone on the team has access to the information in the meeting, and avoids having to repeat it later. Consider using a solution like an AI call and meeting capture platform, which summarizes meetings into an easy-to-read format and shares them with the team.

8. Learn How To Retro

Learn how to do a retro on your stand-up meeting process. Every few weeks, have the team meet afterwards to talk about how the stand-up meeting process is going. Ask what went well, and what didn't go well. Make improvements based on what was discussed.

Conclusion

Stand-ups are a helpful part of running any team, and especially remote teams. Make sure that the remote stand-up meeting is effective by keeping it short, scheduling it consistently, keeping the team focused, and having good facilitation. Finally, make sure that there is a way to retro the stand-up meeting process to keep improving it. Find ways to reduce the burden of meeting facilitation, note taking, and outcomes sharing by leveraging AI solutions like Hyperia. These systems enable remote teams to run a more efficient stand-up meeting, keeping the team focused and productive.

If you've never tried AI Meeting Capture before, the process is fairly simple. You can record meetings by simply connecting to your company calendar, and an AI bot will join your video calls as a participant, automatically capturing, transcribing, and transforming them into a searchable knowledge base. Daily stand-ups from your team, captured, enriched, and indexed by an AI, represent a new way of thinking about meetings. Instead of being a necessary evil, they become a more effective way to share knowledge, make decisions, and keep your team focused on delivering a great product.

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