Extraordinary Team Blog

Take a Stand! Tips for an Effective Stand Up Meeting

Posted by Kristin Arnold on March 16, 2012

Take a tip from a colleague of mine, Clint Maun.  We have worked together through his company, Maun-Lemke, at several hospitals and long term care facilities in building high performance teams.   Particularly in the healthcare sector, I have found that stand up meetings (face to face or virtually) allow for team members to stay connected and on top of the day’s (or week’s) events.  Clint offers some great advice:

“Keep your team on their toes during your next meeting—literally. Stand-up meetings are a great way to keep your team engaged and participating. Indeed, when everyone is standing together in close proximity, it’s less likely they will check their phone for messages, daydream, and/or not participate.

Here are a few tips to make the most of a stand-up:

  1. Keep it short. Stand-ups are most effective if they are 15 minutes or less. Anything more, and people will get fidgety and/or will truly need to sit down to focus.
  2. Be consistent. If you hold stand-up meetings, set a regular day and time for them. For example, every day at the start of your shift is a great time to give and receive key updates before the busy workday begins.
  3. Have an agenda. Although stand-up meetings are considered a little less formal, you should still always have an agenda. Aim to get quick updates on what’s been done since the last meeting, what’s planned for today, and any obstacles that stand in the way of getting work done.
  4. Make it fun. Keep the mood upbeat by incorporating elements of humor. For example, some companies will toss around a ball or rubber chicken to determine who gets to speak next. If someone is rambling on for too long, an employee could hold up stop sign (or some other visual aid) to indicate it is time to move on.

Remember, stand-up meetings can help employees stay engaged and up-to-date on important issues. Of course, you always want to apply common sense. Always make exceptions to no-sitting rules if a worker is sick, injured, or pregnant.”

So….what’s your experience with stand up meetings?

 
  • Revino

    Hi Kristin. Thanks for this nice article. We figured out that standup meetings are great but needed improvement (they took a lot of time and de-focussed our colleagues). Because of this we developed a SaaS tool to ʺautomateʺ the daily standup meetings – with just a single email. If you like to take a look: http://www.30secondsmail.com. Best, Revino

    • Kristin Arnold

      Revino- Your electronic tool sounds like a great idea – especially with virtual/geographically dispersed teams. I still think it’s a great idea to connect F2F once in a while – perhaps rather than daily, meet F2F weekly.