Show of hands: who enjoys meetings? Odds are, not many hands would raise in response to that question. When meetings are poorly-run or scheduled without a good reason, they erode productivity and leave everyone feeling frustrated.
Fortunately, daily standup meetings aren’t like most meetings. Instead of wasting time or being added to your calendar unnecessarily (you know, those meetings that should have been an email), they’re short, to the point, and essential for effective teamwork.
This chapter includes an Excel template to help managers record responses for standups. It includes fields for each team member, what they did yesterday, and what they’ll do today. Here is a quick look:
Also referred to as “scrum meetings,” they are 15-minute syncs that take place every morning (usually right when people get to work, or shortly thereafter; after all, folks might need a moment to get their coffee first). In these meetings, each member of the team discusses:
The scrum master on your team should facilitate these meetings. Ideally, they should be held at the same time and in the same place every morning.
Daily standup meetings are an important part of the agile framework for marketers. They offer an opportunity each day to keep the team in the loop on what’s happening. Without them, you run the risk of having team members jump straight into their work without collaborating effectively.
Some other top reasons for running standups every day include:
Best of all, because these meetings are brief by design, they quickly and easily become an unobtrusive part of your day.
Running these meetings isn’t difficult nor complicated. However, it’s important to ensure they’re run properly in order to be effective. This section will outline a basic process for running them well and explain some best practices to follow for marketing applications.
Every team member should maintain a list of projects and tasks they’ll be working on for the week. At CoSchedule, this is called an “active list.” They can be created in a multitude of ways according to what works best for each team member:
If you’re interested in using CoSchedule for this, the video below explains how Team Management Dashboard works:
This feature offers the benefit of providing the whole team with transparency and clarity around who is working on what. Regardless of which tool or method you choose, the active list should simply include what you’re working on.
Whoever leads your scrums (usually a marketing manager, team lead, or project manager) should facilitate the meeting each day.
This means alerting the team when the meeting starts (in most offices, this likely means using Slack) and enforcing team member attendance (you can simply set the expectation that everyone will meet in the same place and time every day without being told).
The scrum master is also responsible for:
Straightforward enough, right?
Most teams host standups in person, literally standing up (this is going to be a quick meeting, so no need to get too comfortable).
If your team is using a physical kanban board, you might hold daily standups in the same room as your board:
Alternately, you might pull open CoSchedule’s Kanban Project Dashboard (available on Professional and Enterprise Work Organizer and Marketing Suite plans—see details) or another app on a TV in the room. There are other kanban software tools on the market as well. Choose the approach the works best for you.
Traditionally, scrum meetings should be conducted in person. But, what if that doesn’t work for you (because you’re a remote team, or for another reason), or if you feel like breaking the rules? In that case, there’s another option: running standups in Slack.
The CoSchedule team has experimented with running standups in person and online. Both approaches have worked well.
If you choose to use Slack, start with having the scrum master alerting the team (use one specific channel for this each day):
Then, have everyone share what they did yesterday and will do today using the following syntax:
If a team member has a roadblock, they tag the scrum master in a message. The scrum master is then responsible for helping the team member resolve the issue. This is often best done via face-to-face conversation.
This is one example of how processes can be tailored to what works best for you. Feel free to experiment and see what your team tends to prefer. What matters most may be consistency. Running standups needs to become a daily habit for it to stick.
The last point of the previous paragraph can’t be stressed enough. In order to make this process work, it’s important to be disciplined and to not skip days. Once you get into a groove though, you’ll start to reap the benefits of meeting with the team each and every day.