There are divided opinions regarding so-called Stand-Up meetings. Some people love them and say they have streamlined their work when others say something along the lines of “Oh no, not yet another pointless meeting!”
And there is a truth in what the opponents say, because if you do not hold Stand-Up meetings in the right way, it can result in it only being another half hour in your calendar where you do not have time to focus on what you should actually do. But if they are maintained properly, it can do wonders for your team.
What is a Stand-Up Meeting?
A Stand-Up meeting is for syncing status and progress within shared projects. The basic rule for a stand-up meeting is that it should be short and effective. When everyone involved receives continuous updates on where projects and work are at, it is easier to synchronize, plan and streamline tasks.
When these meetings are held in the right way, you can easily adjust deadlines, delegate tasks, correct errors and streamline communication while maintaining efficiency and focus during the work.
Failure to hold these meetings can in turn lead to a mistake being made at some point in the process, which can adversely affect the end product. Putting together a working group where everyone work individually, and then present the end result can mean a great risk that the outcome will not be what was intended from the beginning.
Stand-up meetings can be very beneficial, as long as they are held properly. So how do you hold a Stand-Up meeting in the best way?
1 Keep Stand-up meetings short
These meetings MUST be short. Avoid booking an hour in the calendar “just in case”. Instead, book in 15-20 minutes. Make sure everyone is aware that these meetings should be held effectively and focused.
2 Choose a smart time
It is perfect to book such meetings directly on Monday mornings. In this way, you kickstart the week and ensure that everyone works in the right direction. Avoid booking these meetings at some point in the middle of the day. There is a good chance that they get in the way of other meetings or that it creates a bad break in the colleagues’ focus.
3 Appoint a moderator
It is easy for the meeting to lose efficiency and its purpose if no one is appointed as a clear moderator who can drive the meeting forward. It certainly does not have to be the manager or boss who leads the meeting. The purpose of the moderator is not to make decisions but should instead ensure that everything that is to be discussed is taken up and that no one loses focus.
4 Avoid going off topic
It is so easy for two or more participants to get caught up in details or drift away from the subject. There, it is important that the moderator helps to keep the focus on the core issue and if something else needs to be discussed, separate meetings are booked for those involved.
It is good to have summaries, both at the beginning and at the end of the meeting. Start the meeting by quickly going through what was decided in the last meeting, imagine a two-minute review. And then end the meeting with the important things that will happen until the next Stand-Up Meeting.
As previously mentioned, stand-up meetings are not popular with everyone and this is usually due to the fact that they are not held properly. It is not easy to learn to hold this type of fast meetings but practice makes perfekt. And in groups where continuous Stand-Up meetings are held, where everyone is informed of the format, they have been able to see huge improvements in efficiency and interaction. Both for teams that work close to each other but extra much so for teams that work remotely.
So-called Stand-Up meetings can have very positive effects for you and your colleagues if they are held in the right way. So challenge yourself and set up continuous meetings when you start the next project and challenge the group to keep these short and sweet. You will be pleasantly surprised.