The massive popularity of Slack has turned daily Slack standups into a must for teams who use the tool as their primary communication platform.
It sounds easy enough, everyone gets on and updates Slack once a day to let the team know what they are working on. But, if you’ve done this for awhile, a few tips and tactics help, here they are:
Stick To 3 Simple Standup Questions
We use and recommend the same questions to all of our Jell customers. These questions, originally from long-standing scrum practices, get to the point, and over time you won’t even have to restate them, everyone will just know 1… 2… 3…
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What do you plan to accomplish today?
- What challenges stand in your way?
You can easily copy and paste these questions every day. Here is how one team is doing this for free in Slack https://medium.com/@MilesThibault/daily-stand-ups-in-slack-for-free-9828f75abc0e
Choose A Morning Deadline For Submissions
This works well if everyone works the same hours. It’s best for the team manager to establish a deadline so they can spend time each morning looking at the answers.
This encourages employees to get it done each day, instead of continually putting it off. 10AM is a great time for the timeline because it is in the morning and there is plenty of time to work after that.
Add Reminders For Submissions
One way to make sure everyone gets their submission in before deadline is to add a reminder to the standup channel. Give the team a reminder about an hour before all submissions are due. Here is a screenshot of the reminders we have on our team, from the Jell smartphone app.
Encourage Mentioning Others In Challenges
Encourage team members to mention someone they are waiting on in their standup. Remind people this isn’t calling someone out, it’s simply letting the team and leader know they are working with someone on a project and it isn’t finished yet.
Daily Slack Standup Suggestions for Team Leaders
Read all of the daily slack standup messages, and follow up on any challenges immediately.
Contribute your own daily standup for the team. This shows transparency and openness with the team.
**Important Tip for Managers** Leaders need to acknowledge good work, even if it’s just w/ a quick emoji reaction — that helps team members know you’re paying attention, you appreciate accomplishments, and want people to continue to share their wins.
Save Daily Slack Standups For Later Consideration
When you run through Slack for free you’ll lose track of what people have said in the past and any progress team members have made (once your slack channel has hit the 10k messages which go a lot faster than you think it will).
Consider Connecting Goals, Objectives & Key Results to Daily Standups
Companies like Google are big on connecting daily work (and standups) with quarterly and long-term goals to encourage smart work. This is a productive goal for the rest of us to live up to.
You can read more about OKRs in this ebook we put together. You’ll especially enjoy it if you are striving to get more important work done on your team.
We are biased, of course, but we love using Jell for daily slack standups and OKRs, since our Jellbot works in Slack team members can submit their standups right in Slack, and the Jell dashboard will help team leaders make sure everyone is focusing on the right objectives and key results.
Here’s a peek at what it looks like:
Daily Slack Standups – Convince The Team To Participate
One of the most common problems with daily Slack standups is getting the entire team to participate. There always seems to be that one person who doesn’t like this seemingly ‘Big Brother’ approach.
It’s a shame team members see it this way because it all comes down to perspective. They are looking at it as being micromanaged, but that’s not at all what standups are about.
Sharpen Your Management Skills With Our Daily Standups Ebook
Standups and OKRs both help you as a manager make sure your team will meet their goals to help the business move forward. It’s as simple as the team member coming to you and saying “Hey, xyz items are done, and today I’m going to work on abc project. I’m waiting for Adam to finish efg.”
It might help to explain the difference in perspective to them. As the team leader it’s your place to explain guidelines for what’s expected of their position, but be careful with that approach since most people hate being forced to do something.
Here are a couple of ways to express the need for the team to submit daily standups:
- “This isn’t my way of micromanaging anyone on the team. This is just an easy way for me to check in with each of you daily to make sure we are collaboratively meeting our responsibilities, while I’m also ensuring you are all equipped to get your best work done.”
- “I spend hours every week making sure the team is meeting demands of our department, these standups decrease that time investment significantly so that I’m able to help with the work that needs to be done, instead of managing. This way I know what’s going on, and can quickly express it to superiors while making the most of my time.”
- “Companies who use daily standups have fewer conflicts and obstacles because of the improved communication. I want to harness this as a tool that eliminates daily meetings, shares progress with the team, and quickly handles obstacles, but I need everyone on board. Please consider this a daily necessity for you and me to get on the same page.”
When team members still are not open to daily standups, it’s time to listen to why, feel their point of view, make them feel heard, and decide how to handle it. We talk about listening more in this post on How Managers Can Avoid Conflict In the Workplace.
It’s sometimes difficult to get the whole team on board for a new tool or process, but it can be done, and in this case, it makes a big impact on the effectiveness of your team. Try it out, and use some of our tips, we have a lot of experience and want to help.
Additionally, if you have any suggestions for others around daily standups, we are all ears. Leave a comment below, and we’ll edit this article to include it.
A focused team gets impressive results. Help your team focus with daily Slack standups, objectives, and key results.
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