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Stand-up Meetings as an Efficient Way to Collaborate

6 December, 2017

... by standing, the blood keeps flowing and productivity stays high, with efficiency being 'the name of the game'.

When we talk about modern workplace productivity, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss stand-up meetings. This method of holding group collaborations or informal conferences aim to help businesses keep activity flowing, employees motivated and focused, and can make for more productive team interactions. But how can you ensure that meetings stay professional, and don’t dissolve into social gatherings? Let’s take a look at some best practices.

What are stand-up meetings?

Stand-up meetings are just as they sound: meetings that are held while standing. They can be done in a common space such as an employee lounge or open area, or in meeting rooms with high tables. But they tend to be low-tech and high-focus, with the intent being that by standing, the blood keeps flowing and productivity stays high, with efficiency being the name of the game.

Stand-up meetings in particular do not last more than 15 or 20 minutes maximum. The intent is for them to stay short and to not get off track. Which is why they can be a great solution for status update meetings, daily check ins or huddles, and brief directional meetings.

How to best utilize stand-up meetings

It’s easy for informal meetings to run off track if they feel too informal, so there are a few best practices for these kinds of workplace gatherings to ensure that they are held in the best ways:

Make them regular

Daily or weekly regular stand-up meetings help team members to get used to the idea of them and how they operate. Just like anything, the more you practice, the better they will become. Regular meetings can ensure that people are on task and understand the purpose at all times.

Make them memorable

Starting your daily meeting with a song, like this one company who uses Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up”, or with a quirky method for rounding up your participants, can make the meetings more fun. The meetings should feel like they are an important part of your day, but they shouldn’t just be about a manager droning on about something staff will forget later. Ensure your standing meetings are unique to your tasks or projects, or the staff who participate.

Make them organized

To ensure that you are maximizing your time wisely, you should establish a clear direction and purpose for each meeting, and create a regular plan of action for how they go. Perhaps use your stand-up meeting for daily progress reports for an ongoing project, with each team member covering their progress, issues, or impending needs in order of urgency.

Make them brief

If you feel that the meeting is about to dissolve into chit chat or that there is a point brought up that needs more time and attention, make sure that you can put a pin in those conversations and allow the necessary team members to devote more time at a later point. Your meetings shouldn’t be railroaded by one aspect that takes all the attention away from the purpose of the meeting. Make sure when something important is brought up, the right time and attention is given to those tasks or issues when it’s more appropriate.

Bottom line is that stand-up meetings can be a very productive use of your time when working on collaborative tasks with your project team. Use them to keep up your workplace productivity, and avoid lengthy meetings that your staff may feel is a waste of time. When you can utilize these best practices, you’ll find that they are a crucial tool in your organization.

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