Minimize the Number of Regular Meetings with Virtual Stand-ups

It’s nothing new that regular meetings/sync-ups take up dozens of productive hours a month in every single company. Imagine a regular (weekly) team meeting that takes one hour, and six people are attending the session. When it’s over, you have just wasted six productive hours of your team. Was the meeting worth these six hours? Wasn’t there another solution on how to share the team updates in less time? For sure, here is an alternative, which can save your team from these tedious meetings -> asynchronous virtual (daily) stand-ups. 

What’s a Virtual Stand-Up?

It’s a great alternative to the common in-person stand-ups, which require the entire team to gather for about 15 minutes. Team members are asked to share the work progress and plans for the specific day one by one. On the contrary, virtual stand-ups don’t need the team to be present at the same time nor the same place. It’s straightforward; the team members inform the rest of the team about the work progress, blockers and plans by a short written update, which everyone can write and read anytime. 

Read More: What Will Change for HR After The Covid-19 Lockdown?

Implementing Virtual Daily Stand-Ups Requires the Right Software Tool

It’s essential to choose the right tool, which would help you to smoothly implement virtual stand-ups for your team. There are hundreds of these software tools, bots and apps on the market. Some of them are integrated with other solutions to enhance the core functionalities. Invest time in investigating the tools and find one that would suit your team’s needs best. Don’t forget to test them properly before paying an annual subscription (free trials give you usually enough time to do so). 

Here are some tools that can help – Standuply, Scrumie, Statushero, SimpleStandups 

Discipline in the Team Is a Must-Have

Virtual stand-ups require discipline from the team members. Everyone should thoroughly fill out the daily stand-ups so that the alternative to regular meetings work flawlessly. When starting implementing the virtual stand-ups, set up a daily/weekly reminder for filling out the updates so that there is a low chance that your teammates forget to fill them out. If they still forget to do so, kindly remind them about it. Besides, explain to them that the written updates are more time and cost-effective than organizing synchronous meetings. If they know the reason behind the shift to the new alternative, there is a much higher chance of comprehending the need to write the updates conscientiously. 

Read More: 3 Tips for Managing Remote Employees

Set the Structure of the Virtual Stand-Up

What structure of the updates will be, will derive from the tool you choose. However, one of the first things to do is to put together (as a team) how the correctly written daily updates should look. Ideally, write down a couple of questions which every team member should answer when he/she is about to end the working day. The questions might be these: 

  • What did you do today? 
  • Was there any blocker? 
  • What do you plan to do tomorrow? 

Keep the answers short so that it’s easier for the team leader/manager to go through all of the updates quickly. The last question about the plans for the following day helps the manager agilely decide about the priorities – what should be done, and what can be postponed for later. 

Wrapping Things Up

With the increasing number of companies working (only) remotely and with the need to minimize the regular meetings to save time and lower the costs, it’s no surprise that companies look for alternatives that would successfully replace the meetings. With some initial organization and team discipline, it seems that the virtual check-ins are a great alternative. Even though setting them up might require some effort, time and energy, in the end, they will save you dozens of hours, which your team can invest in something more meaningful.