What is the Daily Huddle?
The daily huddle (or the daily stand-up or the daily scrum - whatever terminology you prefer) is a short meeting meant to occur every day so that the entire team can get informed and aligned on the work that needs to be done.
This meeting should be short - 15 minutes is the optimal length - to avoid wasting unnecessary time and ensuring that only the most important issues are brought up. It may sound like 15-minutes is too short to make any progress on, but what makes the daily huddle such a critical meeting rhythm is the time saved from this brief check up.
The daily huddle tracks progress and brings out sticking points that are blocking your execution. This will help you avoid minor train wrecks and quickly take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. The daily huddle can save everyone an hour or so of needless email updates and ad hoc interruptions. Finally, issues that emerge from daily huddles drive the main topics for the weekly meeting.
How to make it happen
Follow this 6-part guideline to masterfully execute the daily huddle in your organisation and reap the rewards.
Part 1: Timing
Choose whatever time best fits the rhythm of your business. Make sure you always start the meeting on time, whether everyone is present or not.
Part 2: Setting
If you are working remotely, then you'll most likely be on Zoom, MS Teams, or some other platform. If you are still in the workplace, meet wherever you want, but stand up or perch on stools. It’ll help keep the meeting short.
Part 3: Who Attends
The general rule is to have more people in fewer meetings, rather than fewer people in more meetings. That’s true even if only 10 to 15 participants do most of the sharing.
Part 4: Frequency
In general, frontline employees will be in only one daily huddle, and anyone in management will be in two: one with their direct reports and one with their peers and leader.
Part 5: Who Runs the Meeting
Pick someone who is naturally structured and to keep meetings running on time. The person running the meeting also has the important job of saying, “Please take it offline” whenever people get off on a tangent that doesn’t require everybody’s attention.
Part 6: The Agenda
The agenda covers three things and you should spend no more than five minutes per item:
- What’s up?
- What are the daily metrics?
- Where are you stuck?
In the first five minutes, each attendee spends a few seconds (up to 30) sharing very specifically what’s up in the next 24 hours. These should ONLY relate to key activities, meetings, decisions, etc.
The next five minutes are then spent verbalizing the daily metrics your company monitors. Look for patterns and trends which can give you a jump on the competition and on your own challenges.
The last five minutes is the most important agenda item. Here, members of your team bring up constraints and concerns that could prevent them from having a great next 24 hours. The brutal facts need to be shared, and the leader needs to see the patterns of “stucks” to understand what underlying issues must be addressed.