How To Get the Most Out of Stand Up Meetings

Stand up meetings and Agile planning go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just ask the 87% of surveyed professionals who use them together to boost productivity, add value to their teams, and improve communication across the board. Whether or not you’ve hosted one before, research shows that there's a lot more that teams should be doing to make the most out of each and every standup meeting. 

Discover everything you need to know about stand up meeting best practices, why it’s used by the majority of project leaders, and how you can use Wrike to maximize their effectiveness every time. 

What is a stand up meeting?

A stand up meeting is a group check-in where teams update each other on progress and announcements for a shared project. Stand up meetings are typically held weekly or daily depending on the needs of the project. The rule for this event type is short and sweet. Ten to fifteen minutes is the norm. 

The point of a stand up meeting isn’t to add more meetings to everyone’s calendars. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your goal should be to replace as many unnecessary meetings as possible with a platform like Wrike then supercharge the meetings you do have by making them as efficient as possible. 

What are the benefits of stand up meetings?

  • They get teams aligned on objectives and next steps as well as daily tasks.
  • Everyone has an opportunity to point out potential stumbling blocks as soon as they come up.
  • If needed, timelines and tasks can be adjusted when you’re all together so everyone can get on the same page .
  • They’re highly focused and actionable, giving each team member a clear set of to-dos they can walk away with every day or week.
  • They streamline communication, eliminating the opportunity for misunderstandings or lengthy email chains to catch everyone up.

What to put in a stand up meeting agenda

  1. Greetings and introductions
    Take the first minute or two to socialize with your team as people enter the meeting. Introduce new freelancers, contractors, or previously silent stakeholders upfront so everyone can put a face to the name. 
  2. Recap the last meeting
    Quickly bullet point what was discussed, what expectations were set, and whether or not issues brought up have since been resolved. 
  3. Special announcements
    Bring up any time-sensitive changes to big picture project concerns like timeline, budget, or personnel. Also, make note of special office hour changes, team member sickness or upcoming out of office days, or anything else that may affect when and how collaborators can get a hold of each other. 
  4. Key check-ins
    Follow up on assigned tasks, unresolved issues, and any pending decisions that were not closed out from the previous meeting. Ask team leads to give a brief summary of their portion of the project. 
  5. Open for questions
    Allow attendees to ask you or other participants questions that need to be resolved in order to keep moving forward. Any other questions can be addressed within your project management platform or in a separate meeting. 
  6. Meeting summary
    Briefly review what was discussed and who is responsible for what before the next stand up meeting. Assign detailed tasks that include a task name, owner, approver, deadline, essential documents, and any other important information needed to complete it. If there are conflicting tasks, use a decision tree to resolve and prioritize them. 

Stand up meeting best practices

Always encourage participation. Some employees feel intimidated by asking questions but transparency can make or break a stand up meeting. Ensure this policy is enforced by rewarding honesty and encouraging people to air bad news as soon as it's found out. 

Also, have a moderator keep everyone on task and to maintain the proper code of conduct. Because stand up meetings work best when they’re kept short, it’s important to designate a leader who will keep things brief and to the point. 

At the end of every meeting, be open to feedback about how to improve for your next meeting to make it even better than the last. 

What not to do in a stand up meeting

Don’t go off-topic or over-explain details. If additional time is needed for a specific issue, schedule a dedicated meeting later in the day for attendees who absolutely must be there. If stakeholders are present, don’t keep information from them. Instead, frame it in a solution-focused way so as to calm their nerves and demonstrate that progress is being made. 

When should you hold a weekly stand up meeting?

You should hold at least one stand up meeting per week. If your project is time-sensitive or has a short deadline, meet first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. If you have more than one specialized team working together, host one meeting with everyone involved then host separate team meetings throughout the week for more in-depth discussions. 

Who should hold a stand up meeting?

Team leads, project coordinators, business owners, and PR personnel should host stand up meetings. It all comes down to who has the bandwidth to organize them and who is in charge of big picture organization. 

How to organize your meetings with Wrike

  • Create a new folder and name it after your stand up meeting. 
  • Add meeting dates as tasks inside of the folder.
  • Write your meeting agenda details (date, time, location, and schedule) inside the task. 
  • Make your deadline the date of the meeting. 
  • Add the meeting host as the owner and @mention participants who need to be there. 
  • Attach files that need to be discussed to each individual meeting.
  • Create and share actionable meeting notes with all attendees within the task itself using Wrike’s template

Ready to efficiently get your whole team on the same page with productive stand up meetings? Get Wrike’s two-week free trial and see for yourself how visual timelines, meeting tasks, and streamlined communication can improve productivity teamwide.

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