Not every meeting requires the full conference table sit-down. When you need to quickly get everyone updated and on the same page, the daily stand-up meeting is the way to go. Stand-ups are designed for maximum productivity — they’re quick, focused, and collaborative. But in order to remain productive, some rules must be followed.
This article is a blueprint for setting up successful stand-up meetings. Learn about the advantages of stand-ups, what you’ll need to get started, and how to organize your meeting.
What is a stand-up meeting?
A stand-up meeting (or stand-up) is a short, productive daily meeting during which participants stand, as a reminder to keep things concise. Stand-up meetings allow project or product teams to quickly touch base, report progress, and align on project goals.
4 Benefits of stand-up meetings
Stand-up meetings are a great way for teams to align short- and long-term goals, along with personal tasks and overall team projects. Think of a stand-up meeting as your morning roll call and status meeting where the whole team meets and has the opportunity to catch up and share what they are working on. With minimal organization and preparation required, teams can come together to set priorities and communicate quickly and effectively.
1. Shorten feedback loops
Unless you keep a list of questions to ask or hiccups you come across while working through a project, important information gets lost in the shuffle when you wait between weekly meetings to bring the team together. Daily stand-ups keep everyone on the same page, sharing the latest information and learning from other team members. Get answers in real time and face-to-face on a daily basis.
2. Identify problems faster
Small problems oftentimes can escalate and have unforeseen consequences when not addressed in a fast manner. Stand-up meetings let you sync up with your teammates on a daily basis, allowing you and your colleagues identify blockers quickly and as they arise. Not only does this team meeting enable problem solving, you can also nip problems in the bud before they snowball into bigger issues.
3. Align on goals and tasks
When you get in the groove at work, it's easy to get lost in the details and forget to see your projects from a broader scope. Every team member has their own tasks and goals they’re focused on, which makes it easy to lose sight of how you’re contributing to the team’s goals. Stand-ups are a great reminder to align team goals and reiterate each team member’s role to the team.
4. Interact with teammates
Emails are easy to skip over or skim through, and phone conversations lack the face-to-face interaction we need to stay focused, alert and on topic. Daily stand-ups keep team members fully engaged and collaborating with one another, allowing colleagues build better relationships by talking to each other face to face. They also minimize multi-tasking since the meetings themselves are only 10-15 minutes!
7 rules for effective stand-up meeting
While the concept of a short, interactive meeting might seem too good to be true, having productive and topic-focused yet quick meetings with your colleagues is actually pretty achievable. Here are 7 rules that will guide you towards a successful cadence of stand-up meetings:
1. Be mindful of everyone's time
A stand-up meeting is called a stand-up meeting, because no one should be taking the time to get comfortable in the meeting room. These meetings should only take 15 minutes tops, so keep the meeting short and brief! If you need time to elaborate on certain topics, follow up with an email or another designated time to meet and discuss further.
2. Establish a goal
A huge benefit of stand-up meetings is that they force teams to prioritize. By address the team’s goal right at the beginning of the meeting (or even before!), you cut out any unrelated topics and make the most of everyone’s time. Team members will walk in to the meeting with questions prepared.
3. Stay focused
Once you’ve established a meeting agenda and goal, stick to it! Choosing a facilitator or scrum master can help keep the meeting organized, stay on track and maintain structure. But don’t let your facilitator take over the meeting — make sure everyone still has a chance to talk and address anything they need to!
4. Adapt the format as necessary
Speaking of meeting structure, it’s important to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for stand-up meetings. Each team has its own culture, needs, number of team members to accommodate, diversity of perspectives, and more.
One easy way to structure your meeting is to round robin style so everyone gets a chance to speak every time. You can even select what topics to address in each meeting — i.e, project updates, blockers and challenges — or you can always just let your team guide you. Do what feels comfortable for you and your team!
5. Include remote employees
It’s easy to overlook your remote teammates for stand-ups since they aren’t physically in the building. Luckily with tools like video conferencing, you can loop in everyone from any location.
Lifesize has designed stand-up meeting solutions for countless companies and has developed a professional line of audio and video conference equipment — including the only 4K video conferencing camera system on the market. Team members can instantly connect from anywhere with the Lifesize desktop and mobile app.
6. Stay consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to making routine stand-up meetings — just by being consistent, you can increase productivity, enhance the way your team communicates with one another, and make the condense the meeting to be even shorter. To stay consistent:
- Hold stand-ups at the same time each day
- Use the same format for all stand-ups
- Stick to the time frame (usually 10-15 minutes)
7. Don't forget to follow up
When you establish a goal in your stand-up meetings, don’t forget to follow up and make sure your conversations and projects are progressing. Following up after your daily stand-ups is crucial because it builds transparency across your team. Expectations should be reiterated, next steps should be taken, and teammates should be held accountable.
Example of a stand-up meeting agenda
You don’t need much for a stand-up meeting agenda — since they’re so short, all you need is a handful of questions to get the ball rolling and prompt team members to provide status updates. You can have a set of questions that each team member can answer or specific questions aimed at certain team members. Here are a few examples that can get your stand-up meeting started:
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Where are you stuck?
- What do you need help on?
- What's one "win" or key finding from today you would like to share?
3 tools you need for effective stand-up meetings
For a successful stand-up meeting, having an agenda is just half of it. Enhance your stand-up meetings with extra tools that can loop in remote workers from any location and keep your meetings running smoothly.
Reliable Video Conferencing App
Video conferencing apps like the Lifesize app tie your audio and video equipment together into an intuitive and easily accessible interface. The Lifesize app features interactive tools for collaboration, wireless screen-sharing, pinch-to-zoom and listen-only capabilities and more. The Lifesize mobile app even lets your team members bring all these features with them on the go wherever there is an internet connection and is interoperable with a number of third-party devices for easy collaboration.
To transform your stand-up video conferences into immersive and authentic real-life face-to-face interaction, you’ll need an HD-capable camera and display screen. Lifesize builds meeting room solutions that are customized for the collaborative and agile atmosphere of stand-up meetings.
The Lifesize Icon 300 is designed specifically for small huddle meetings. Flexible mounting options let you place the camera anywhere in the room, set up is plug-and-play, and the camera has 4K capability to provide unmatched realism and clarity in your conference room. Paired to a Lifesize Phone HD, feel the full effect of an integrated and unmatched collaboration experience.
Calendar integrations ensure that team members know when the meeting is and are able to join easily. Lifesize’s external calendar integration syncs with Google calendar and Microsoft products, so you can get notified and join the meeting right from inside Google and the Microsoft Teams app. You can even book Lifesize Icon systems as a resource for easy scheduling and reservations!
How stand-up meetings help remote teams
Stand-up meetings are most valuable to remote teams, since it’s even more difficult to keep team members on the same track when they’re spread out across different locations. Here are some remote teams Lifesize has helped bring together.
Lifesize connected Organic Growth Marketing's 100% remote team across three different continents for daily scrum meetings. With no office space at all, their remote stand-up meetings became vital to keeping their team and goals unified.
As a company that makes their culture a top priority, WP Engine was faced with the challenge of bringing unity to teams spread out over three continents. By having Lifesize in each office and on every employee’s laptop, coworkers can instantly connect with one another and managers can effectively manage remote employees in one-on-one video calls.
IOS Offices is a company that procures and designs workspaces for companies in Mexico. With help from Lifesize, they are able to build the most collaborative and agile atmosphere possible for their clients. IOS offices has deployed Lifesize over 30 of their offices, and use the Lifesize desktop and mobile applications to connect effortlessly from anywhere.
Coastal Bend College
Coastal Bend College uses high quality video conferencing across their four college campuses to internally communicate among staff, provide classes to remote students and tutor enrolled students outside of the classroom. In fact, the faculty and students are such advocates of Lifesize that they’ve coined “Lifesize-ing” as a verb!
There’s no replacement for face-to-face meetings, but with an increasingly distributed workforce, it’s not always feasible. Video conferencing enables these authentic, real-life interactions regardless of where your team members are located.
Stand-up meetings are supposed to be quick and simple, so the best stand-up meeting solutions make it easy to join and intuitive to use. Lifesize combines high-grade technical equipment with a streamlined user interface that lets you hop into meetings and start collaborating with ease. Bid your farewells to those long, dreadful analog meetings and say hello to smarter, higher quality and quicker sync-ups.