The Daily Stand-Up – Best Practice For Small Businesses

Let’s Have A Meeting – It’s Daily Stand-Up Time!

Here at ExaVault we have a daily stand-up at the beginning our workday.

But what is it?

The daily stand-up is an ideal type of meeting for small businesses. It’s time for your professional team to get together and review what has been completed, what the current goals are, and who needs assistance to get to the next step.

Just as its name implies, the daily stand-up is a meeting that should happen Every Day. Having your team stand-up at the same time every day is a great tool to increase productivity, improve focus, and provides structure. This is especially effective for teams coming together from different departments or groups with remote workers.

Roll Call Time!

Who Attends the Stand-Up?

If you can’t all gather to stand in one physical space and have an actual “stand-up” meeting, many businesses find the use of a bridge line or Skype call as a handy way to get everyone together for the daily meeting. With Skype, it’s just like being in person since you can see all members who are on the call.

Once the team has gathered, each person gets a chance to go over three areas of interest briefly. The first is an overview of what they did the previous workday.

Coworker 1: Yesterday I completed the high priority marketing task and wrote two articles that are ready for review.

Next is what you plan to do today. What tasks are you finishing up or starting that align with the current company projects and goals?

That’s not all….

Third is to state any blockers that are keeping you from meeting your goals or finishing tasks.

Acknowledging blockers is the step where an employee can seek help from a coworker. Ask for someone to review an article you wrote, get someone with the right permissions to unblock you in a program, or state you need to have a more in-depth discussion with a supervisor later to go over some ideas you have.

If there is no further assistance needed, skip the third section and let the next person talk.

A Business Best Practice

As we already stated, stand-up meetings are ideal for small businesses. When you can get everyone together for 15 min each morning, coworkers get to know the role each member plays in the team. Knowing who does what gives confidence to individuals within the team. They can reach out for assistance instead of hoping someone else will find the error and report it to the proper person.

Letting everyone know your status as well as understanding the overall status of current projects is a workflow best practice. No one is out of the loop. Accountability within modern businesses is a necessity with so much online collaboration and cross-departmental projects.

The best part?

Meeting goals.

Goals are another key area enhanced by a daily stand-up. Speaking of goals in a daily meeting helps keep everyone on target. Starting your workday with a meeting can also enable the team to reassign tasks that need additional hands on deck. And all goals accomplished.

Go Team!

As employees go over their project status in a group, less management oversight is needed.

When an employee has the option to state additional resources are needed to move their task forward, management can take a step back. The manager no longer needs to bug their employees for an update when it is freely given each day.

As a business best practice, the daily stand-up provides project management without micromanaging. You get a team with improved communication, accountability and productivity.

Teamwork - the daily stand-up

Why This Works – Again With The Goals

Get collaboration and discussion going with a daily stand-up. The daily stand-up meeting adds value to teams. As stated earlier, when each member of a team knows their goals and the goals of the overall project it keeps tasks on target.

Get to know your coworkers and what they are working on. Knowing who to go to for further assistance with a specific aspect of your task is a valuable part of teamwork. No more wondering who does what or who is the appropriate person to review your document.

For small businesses, there is no hiding when you have daily stand-up meetings. Everyone is accountable for something. If one team member has finished all assigned tasks, they can offer to help complete another task. The stand-up is a great place to state you are available to assist that day if needed.

The daily stand-up works because it is about the team and the goals. It isn’t just a sterile email sent out that states those weekly goals.

Slack & the To Do Bot

What does a typical ExaVault stand-up meeting look like?

Here’s the deal:

The call.

Currently, Skype is our go-to for these group stand-up calls. The video feature provides a feeling of working together.

Project Management with Slack. If you don’t know Slack and google it, the tagline is Slack: Where Work Happens. With instant messaging channels for group use and the ability to have one on one chats with coworkers, Slack is a powerful work tool. And it’s an integral part of our daily stand-up.

Review follow-ups.

Every morning before our stand-up, To-Do Bot  lets me know if there are any unfinished follow-ups on my list from the previous day.

To-Do Bot is a task manager you can add on to Slack or your favorite chat platform. You can set up and assign tasks to team members. Mark your follow-ups as complete when they are done. As I said, To-Do Bot is set up to remind me of any undone tasks 10 min before our daily stand-up meeting.

(Whether your business will benefit from To-Do Bot or not, there are many options for customization in Slack.)

Slack - communication tool for teams

Next, is reviewing the list of follow-ups.

These are the tasks that needed additional assistance from another coworker. Did a peer review your document? Did the update get pushed to production? Have you had that conversation about SEO with the marketing manager? Let’s mark these off and move forward.

Who gets to talk first?

We let a random number generator decide for us. The list shows up in our team stand-up channel in Slack. Knowing who’s next keeps the meeting flowing.

New follow-ups.

Does anyone need further assistance to complete their task for the day? While each person talks, any mention of needing to speak with a coworker is logged as a follow-up and entered into our “standup” channel in Slack.

Don’t worry, To-Do Bot will let me know if I have any follow-ups that day.

Last, there is a quick discussion of the new follow-ups. A quick review of the follow-up list determines the order, so everyone gets their chance to talk to the boss if needed. Now it’s flow time!

But What If I’m Not Standing Up

Daily Stand-up and communication tools like Skype and Slack are great. Actually communicating is what makes teams even better.

If your business is too big for everyone to get a turn talking every day, you can still make a stand-up part of your daily routine.

How can you actually use this?

  • Let a representative from each department speak.
  • Let people request to share something they did that might be particularly interesting to the group.
  • Randomly select eight or ten people to give their project update.
  • Ask who needs follow-ups or assistance that day.

Yes, it’s called the daily stand-up. Yes, standing up for 15 min with your team for a meeting has its benefits. For our team here at ExaVault, we have the option to sit. It’s what works for us.

Implement a daily stand-up for your small business. Improve communication and accountability. With a little time, you will find the tools and exact process that works for your team.