Daily team meeting: 5 tips for making it count

Daily project meeting

Everyone is busy, no one wants to sit in unnecessary, long-winded meetings that aren’t relevant to what they are doing. We get that! A focused daily team meeting is NOT one of those meetings and here is five tips for making it count:

1. Regular (it’s every day!)

Talking every day can actually save time. It ensures that each team member is clear on their immediate tasks, raises any issues early and identifies dependencies between the team members.

Holding it in the same time and place (physical or virtual) means that the team don’t have to think about where the meeting is or when. They just get into the habit of showing up.

A top tip is to make it easy to get to. Stand up near your desks or dial-in to a conference call on the same number every time. Don’t put it in a meeting room that is 3 blocks away or change the technology you use to connect.

2. Fast

The meeting should not last longer than 15 minutes. If you’ve got a lot of people this can be difficult but give it a go. Keeping it short will mean it doesn’t become an overhead for the team and will keep it relevant.

3. Simple agenda

Another great idea is to keep the same, simple agenda so that the team know what to expect.

The SCRUM methodology goes with:

  • What did I accomplish yesterday?
  • What will I do today?
  • What obstacles are impeding my process?

Whereas Kanban goes with:

  • What obstacles are impeding my process?
  • What has progressed?

They both pretty much do the same thing. Personally I like to have  big visual list of tasks that can be ticked off and provide focus for next steps.

Another top tip is to give your meeting a name that is easily identifiable in people’s calendar. My personal favourite from a project I was on was ‘Wakey Shakey’ which was the name of our morning meeting.

4. Everyone has a turn

Each team member should speak in turn and answer the questions in the agenda. This gives everyone an equal voice. In my view it’s ok for the PM to prompt answers (e.g. highlight what is due next on the list of tasks or plan) but not to get too heavily involved.

5. Take problem solving or solutioning outside the meeting

Any obstacles needing further discussion can be picked up outside the meeting. This means that only the relevant people need attend. It can be useful if the PM adds theses items to an action log so they don’t get forgotten. The resolution can be an update in a subsequent daily meeting.

So, if you’re not already having a daily meeting give it a go. You will be surprised at how much it helps the whole team and how quickly people come to rely on it.

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Have you had success using a daily team meeting or scrum? We’d love to hear your comments.

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