Daily Ritual: The Stand-Up Meeting

Stand-Up or Daily Scrum meetings first up in the morning are an awesome way to share achievements, set goals and commitments for the day, share roadblocks, ask for help and stretch the legs before you disappear back to your desk and into your inbox.

Like any project management tool, you need to make it work for you to get the most out of it. Having staff rock up late unprepared and un-caffeinated, armed with “Yeah, I dunno’s” quickly kills the vibe of a Stand-Up meeting.

For event management projects, Stand-Up meetings are a fantastic way to give a snapshot of what stage an event is at and importantly, making staff feel they are not alone and wholly responsible for delivery which is one of the most stressful parts of managing an event.

Dogs are excellent additions to Stand-Up meetings

Some things to consider for your Stand Up / Daily Scrum to make it A Grade:

Keep it on track:

To avoid digressions into what type of florals might be in season for an event three months away, or to ensure the session doesn’t become a mass venting party it is critical to steer the ship and keep energy, decorum and relevance.

Rather than describe what you were or are working on, focus on what you achieved yesterday and what you’ve committed to for today. Those words are super important and those slight tweaks should keep the sessions seams stitched together:

  • Personal – something good that’s happened in the last 24hrs
  • Priorities – two things that you are committed to today
  • Roadblocks – are there are any roadblocks on the road to achievement?
  • Help – ask for it!

These meetings work really well when the team trusts each other:

What I mean by this is that when a team knows and trusts each other to be honest about where they are at and asking for help. In the instance that the team is new, or there is a lack of trust then the questions used during this process may need to be reviewed (cue more awareness based tactics). Senior team members need to observe personalities and what makes people light up and go from there.

At EMG we start the Stand-Up meeting by sharing one piece of good news from your personal life:

This can be anything from how your Nonna is knitting your dog a new winter coat, to your kid coming third in a swimming competition. Just something not related to work, which ensures personal connection before the onslaught of to-do lists, emails and phone calls. If someone is struggling (whether it be work, family, relationships etc), this small question might be the difference between battling at work to feeling that you are a part of a compassionate and supportive group of individuals. After all, we are all humans just trying to do our best.

Importantly, it is making time to understand and appreciate each other’s workloads and identify where we can help and support each other.

It can be great way to connect with the people you work with:

Other than her Ricky Martin photo board, do you even know what Carla who sits near the window does? Or are you perhaps a contractor or freelancer and don’t know anyone at all? Stand-Up meetings should sort that disconnect out by giving employees and employers a chance to not just put a name to a face, but understand each person’s role within the company.

It gets the legs moving:

Sitting has been dubbed as the new smoking – blamed for increasing the risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as diabetes and obesity. Health guidelines suggest we should spend 150 minutes a week in moderate exercise, but many of us sit down for more than half the working day and email means we don’t even have to get up to talk to anyone. Stand up meetings move oxygen around the body by getting the blood flowing, it makes employees move away from their desks and their mobile phones, which is good for ideas! #dancemovesencouraged

At the end of the day, EMG are getting used to creating this as a daily ritual – it isn’t perfect but when we hit brick walls we adapt the format, it is a project management tool after all, so the power is in:

  • the asking of questions
  • the capacity of the team to actively listen
  • the ability of the speaker to deliver concise, relevant information

It takes practice.


Go back to the blog

Latest blogs