If your virtual daily standup meetings are taking more than 5 minutes, they're too long.
🤔 Yes, you did read that right!
Let's be honest, as much as a good ol morning get-together with the team sounds like a great way to kick start the day, it's not necessarily the best way. Distributed teams have learned that jumping on too many video calls is neither logistically feasible due to time differences, nor is it very productive. Not only that, but it's rare that a video standup meeting ever sticks to the allotted time. Instead, these online get-togethers often go over, resulting in a meeting that could have been an async update.
So, how do you conduct daily standup meetings remotely then? Let's start with how not to, as most of us will likely resonate with this a bit more, based on our own personal experience.
Apart from the above-mentioned issue of trying to coordinate a daily video call across time zones, virtual daily standup meetings often turn into long-drawn-out update meetings that no one is actually engaged with.
Do you really want to have your employees disengaged right off the get-go? Of course not. That begs the question then...
Connecting with your team via video is absolutely necessary...but, it shouldn't be the default if you're aiming to master remote collaboration. As Chase Warrington, Head of Business Development at Doist shared with us,
“Asynchronous communication is like a cheat code for distributed teams, in terms of productivity and balancing work with life."
Chase, like other remote leaders, understand that connection synchronously is needed, but it should only be reserved for certain situation. Instead, asynchronous collaboration should be the daily go-to of distributed teams.
How do you easily make the transition though?
Firstly, it all starts with a few mindset shifts, which are likely the thing you'll struggle with the most.
Next, you'll need to create a new habit around check-ins for your team. Instead of that 'quick', one hour standup meeting call 😅, swap it out for an asynchronous check-in your team can fill out in 5 minutes or less, in their own time.
Or, rather than jumping on a video call every time you want to discuss something, run a collaborative async discussion instead.
First things first, what is the purpose of a daily standup meeting? In the most simplest terms, a daily standup allows your team to check in and share what they've completed, what's currently in progress, and whether they have come up against any obstacles.
There are a few ways to conduct daily stand-ups remotely and some great remote asynchronous collaboration tools to help you get started.
If you prefer to have your team send through async voice updates, a tool like Yac allows you you to do so via individual or group voice messages.
Or, what about if you still feel like you need to connect visually with your team, but it's not possible due to the time zone differences? Have your team send a quick update video weekly through Weet, that you can watch in your own time.
Ok, so, maybe you're already running your standup asynchronously, but there's still something missing. If you're struggling with how to conduct daily standup meetings remotely, make sure you're not committing these mistakes.
X You're still trying to run your standup like you did in the office.
√ Instead, optimize it for the remote environment (ie. async check-ins and collaborative discussion docs)
X Your employees are checking-in, but you're not tuning in
√ In the digital space, it's more difficult to know if your employees are struggling. Therefore, when they asynchronously check-in, tune into their tone of written speech and read their virtual non verbal communication.
Still not sure what's wrong with your digital virtual standups, here are some more reasons why you may be failing at moving your daily standup meeting online.
Ok, so here's the easy part of how to conduct daily standup meetings. The secret to making these quick meetings habit is by keeping them consistent and following a similar, if not the same daily standup meeting format for every standup check-in.
It should look a little like this. 👇
Here you can find more daily standup templates for meetings.
If you need to run an all inclusive style update meeting, you can always follow more of an in depth daily standup meeting template.
These meeting templates include:
Once you've filled in the daily standup meeting agenda, invite your team to collaborate on the meeting document asynchronously.
If you're already using Slack or Microsoft Teams to communicate asynchronously with your employees, there's really no easier way to run your daily standups than in the apps you're already using.