Daily Stand-up is a short meeting for a team to sync on their progress towards a common goal and collectively build a plan for the day.
However, despite the concept seeming simple, in my practice, I find this regular team routine to be the most misunderstood or, even worse, the most hated. Moreover, with most of us attending these sessions remotely, have you ever wondered if the team even listens to what you have to say?
Here are some ideas on how you can spice up your daily sync call and bring energy back to it.
1. Interview your colleagues
Instead of requiring each team member to provide their own update, let other team members ask questions about any of the work items they are interested in learning about. This way, you’d ensure that team members actually listen to an update, and the interviewee won’t be talking into the abyss (especially if the stand-up is not face-to-face and the videos are off).
Additionally, you could save some time during this call by skipping updates on the items that are not immediately interesting to the rest of your team.
An added benefit for the team coach is that they’d be able to clearly observe the team dynamics and see how much each member cares about the overall goal.
2. Plant an Easter Egg
(Credit: Linda Kaleis)
Linda came up with a fun and witty way to ensure the team pays attention to each other’s updates. At any time during their regular updates, each team member can put in a random phrase like: “I’m that it should go with the flow of your update.” This way, you could clearly see who’s paying attention and who has zoned out. If the team wants, they can even keep track of how many times someone missed an Easter Egg. The “leader” of this contest buys coffee and snacks for the next team in-office day.
3. Stand-up is about jokes, right?
(Credit: Larry Read)
Larry wrote a simple script to return the name of a random team member. The lucky team member would then have to tell a joke to set the mood for the day and start the call with some laughter (hopefully). This simple idea helps break the ice for new teams and quickly learn about each other’s sense of humor.
However, the pressure is real as no one wants to hear crickets or feel like they need to explain the joke (I had to do it once; it was quite an uncomfortable experience). But this gives you a legal excuse to spend some time in the day finding good jokes and adding them to your bulletproof list.
You can also use one of the numerous spin-the-wheel websites like spinthewheel.io to add a nice visual to the name selector.
I hope these simple techniques will help you to re-energize your daily calls. What clever or funny ideas have you tried to turn the routine daily stand-ups into a sought-after event?