How to Improve Your Daily Huddle

By: Sid

alligatortek huddle

A daily stand up meeting (sometimes called a daily scrum or morning roll call) is a meeting style many organizations use keep employees up to date on company activities. It’s not meant to discuss in depth project details – but to quickly update peers on information crucial for day-to-day coordination.

We hold our meeting in front of a white board with current projects displayed. This allows the team to visually go from project to project and note changes, updates, or issues. To start on a positive note, we go around and share any general or work related good news. Afterwards, we state updates surrounding the projects outlined on the board and any blockers. Blockers would be any type of issues that prevent completion of your task for that day or in the long run, and updates would be referring to the day before and that day’s happenings. The meeting is held in a smaller conference so everyone feels close and is able talk at a comfortable volume.

Our huddle process is a key component of staying organized. Here are the rules we follow to ensure success.

• Stand up

We stand during our meeting as a way to keep it short. The urge to sit is a sign the meeting may be dragging on. It also helps to keep everyone more alert than while seated.

• Be brief

Save problem solving for blockers for a separate meeting or conversation, and include only those who are directly affected. The huddle should take no longer than 15 minutes unless you have a large team.

• Meet at the same place at the same time

Our meeting takes place in the same room, every day, at the same time. The meeting always starts on time. This way, it is easy for people to know where to go and remember to attend since it becomes routine.

• Expect 100% attendance

Our huddles are composed of representatives from various departments so everyone stays in the loop. This makes is easy to coordinate and keep a project running smoothly because each department involved is required to meet daily.

• Talk in turns

We organize who speaks next by going around the circle to avoid interruptions. This could also be done by tossing an object to the next speaker to keep people paying close attention.

standup meeting

Benefits of a Huddle Meeting

Meeting daily provides several benefits when working in teams. For example, a unique aspect of our huddles at alligatortek is daily conferencing with remote colleagues. The huddle allows us to identify more as a team and get to know team members even when they work elsewhere. Likewise, this creates an opportunity for everyone in regional offices to share what tasks they are working on or having issues with so we can coordinate accordingly. Team members on bot the same understanding of company goals and outcomes which helps accomplishing these goals go smoothly and people know what they are working towards overall.

Having a good understanding of current company updates and operations makes it easier to grasp the impact of individual daily work as well. Employees share their updates and can see every day how they contributed to the organization. People leave the huddle feeling motived to complete their to-do’s for the day knowing that they play and important role.

Improving Your Stand Up

If the rules and benefits for the stand-up are not well known and held closely by employees in the organization, your organization should make changes to improve the meeting. In order to achieve stand-up success, your employees need to see the value in it.

You should realign your meeting if:

• Employees are reporting to management rather than peers

This isn’t a progress report for your boss, you should be speaking to everyone. Having meetings with mixed representatives and departments helps solve this issue.

• The focus is on work in progress not work completed

It’s good to know what everyone is working on, but note completed tasks to ensure work is progressing towards goals. Mentioning tasks completed the previous day and plans for the current day would be more useful.

• People are late

This is directly wasting time while people have to wait on other co-workers to arrive. If everyone isn’t showing up on time, it defeats the purpose of a quick meeting. We always hold our team accountable for being on time to the huddle.

• The meeting drags on

The actual problem solving or story telling should be saved for later. Our team likes to appropriately address problems noted in the huddle by asking other to stay briefly after the meeting to discuss.

• Workers are not stating blockers

Choose blockers to share that are also important to others in the room in terms of task completion. Not mentioning these or only mentioning personal blockers will cause delays.

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About Sid
Sid Bala is the President & CEO of alligatortek.

alligatortek is a Chicago custom software and application development firm that began partnering with clients 25 years ago to develop game-changing applications for its clients. alligatortek is recognized as a best-in-class partner, innovator and employer. The firm is a two-time winner of the Chicago Innovation Awards and a 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year. alligatortek is a four-time winner of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation.

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