How We Use Daily Stand-ups To Improve Communication
November 24, 2012 3 Comments
On a drive back from Fresno, my friend and fellow Mika board member, Jeff Tanner, described how he implemented Patrick Lencioni’s method for daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly sessions to align his leadership team.
I’m fascinated by organizational methods for improving performance, and so I listened intently as he described the process. I couldn’t wait to visit our local Barnes and Noble to read Lencioni’s books (they’re short, written like short stories). You’ve probably seem them numerous times in the business section of your bookstore.
At MindFire, we’ve been using daily stand-ups as a core part of our engineering culture for about two years (watch an example here). It is by far one of my favorite times of the work day, as it gives me the opportunity to hear (in a succinct fashion) what everyone accomplished the prior day, and what they intend to do that day. Everyone gives Twitter-like bursts of information in the following format:
- What they accomplished the prior day (not a lot of details, just the bullet-point summary)
- What they intended to accomplish that day
- Whether they have any “blocks”, i.e., impediments in the way of achieving their stated objectives
We’ve found that it is helpful to stand up (keeps everyone brief and avoids verbal diarrhea), and set a timer for 12 minutes. We start promptly at 9:00 AM, and if you’re late, we require one push-up for everyone minute past 9. Keeps things lively!
At the end of the session, everyone is aware of what their teammates are working on, and we’re able to make quick course adjustments based on the day’s activities.
Have you implemented daily stand-ups in your organization? If so, have they helped your organization? If not, what keeps you from trying?