Get up! Stand up! Brief regular coordination meetings
Meetings. We all know them well and in many cases they are considered inefficient. It doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s hard to keep a team meeting fresh and exciting when everybody is providing updates, some are digressing, and some are talking about minor things. Frankly, most of the time nobody seems to be really prepared. At the end, participants are slouching comfortably in their chairs, which reminds us more of a relaxing TV evening than a business meeting.
Long meetings dedicated to coordination are not a good idea – neither offline nor online. Virtual meetings are even more exhausting. That’s why this is the perfect moment to try out something new: Stand-up meetings.
Ever heard of those? As you will have guessed, these are meetings in which everybody participates while standing. The format derives from the software sector, more specifically from agile processes such as SCRUM and Kanban. There are clear and strict rules, however these can be relaxed a little for regular meetings and adapted to the situation at hand. You should stick to some basic rules though:
- As the name implies: all participants must stand. This can be very funny if the meeting is held via video conferencing, but it also means that wearing sweatpants is a no-go 😉
- The timeframe is fixed and shouldn’t be too long. The minimum is 15 minutes.
- The meetings take place on a regular basis and always at the same time.
- EVERY participant comes WELL-prepared.
- Everybody gets to speak.
- Discussions are avoided. If there is a need for clarification, this can be dealt with afterwards in personal talks.
Now you are probably asking yourself if it’s possible to let everybody speak, given the short timeframe. Yes, it is – if the meeting has been prepared well and if it has a clear structure and moderation. At the beginning a brief overview will be given to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Then every participant answers questions that have been prepared in advance.
- What did I work on yesterday?
- What am I working on today?
- Are there any obstacles?
The phrasing of the questions can be adapted. The first question, for instance, could also be: “In what way did I contribute to the success of the team yesterday?” This is motivating and promotes solidarity at the same time. Get up! Stand up!