What is a Daily Huddle?
A huddle meeting has been a common practice for many companies these days. No matter the industry or size of the company, a daily team huddle is a great way to improve team communication, alignment and most importantly, employee productivity
To put it simply, a huddle meeting is a 5–15 minute meeting, during which team members discuss updates, tactical issues and other problems they’ve encountered. It’s also known as a stand-up meeting, or daily scrum meeting.
The key to a successful morning huddle is fulfilling its purpose which is to check in with team members and discuss what you did yesterday and what your day will look like today. A daily huddle is not a project meeting or a weekly update meeting. It’s a quick and straightforward update on tasks and responsibilities related to the project. Workers share information with each other and deliver quick project status checks. This way, the entire team is informed and aligned on the work that has to be completed.
The definition of a morning huddle meeting might sound simple, however there are a couple of things to watch out for. It has to be run efficiently to make the most out of it to make sure everyone knows what the rest of the team members are up to.
You may think that a 15-minute morning meeting is too short to conduct a meaningful discussion or make any progress on. However, what makes the daily huddle such an essential component in any organization is the time saved from this quick and brief check up.
Implementing a daily morning meeting includes establishing some ground rules as well. Those rules might include:
- Start and end on time
- Keep it under 15 minutes
- Invite the right people
- Use a simple agenda
- Don’t discuss lengthy problem-solving solutions
The following article will dig deeper into the benefits of a daily huddle meeting and how to properly conduct it for effective results. Moreover, there will be a simple huddle meeting agenda presented, which every organization can easily follow for their next morning gathering. Let’s go!
What are the Benefits of the Daily Huddle?
The daily huddle meeting is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Let’s list them!
- Tracks progress of project, tasks, responsibilities and action items.
- Brings out issues and points that block task execution.
- Saves time as opposed to email updates.
- Issues brought up during the huddle meeting drive main topics for lengthier meetings, such as a project or weekly meeting.
- Keeps team members informed and focused on the same business goal.
- Ensures answers to pressing questions.
- Enforces team accountability as everyone knows what the rest of the team members are responsible for.
- Face-to-face time every 24 hours keeps the team connected, whether the meeting is conducted at the office or online.
Thousands of companies around the world have discovered the many advantages and power that comes from implementing a simple daily huddle meeting. The above-mentioned benefits definitely don’t sound like something that you should not ignore as a manager or team leader. If you’re already thinking about introducing the daily huddle meeting to your team and making it a ground rule, you should know how to execute it masterfully. The following part of the article will tell you more about it.
How to Run a Daily Huddle Efficiently?
The following tips and tricks will help you execute the daily huddle in your organization efficiently and get the most out of your next meeting.
Make sure you always start the huddle meeting on time, regardless of whether all the team members are present or not. Try to also finish within the allotted time, which is usually 15 minutes.
A daily huddle meeting can either be a stand-up meeting at the general office or you can gather in the team leader’s office to make it more convenient for them. If you’re managing a remote team, you can use one of the many meeting management tools, such as Mombit.
If you want to start and finish the huddle meeting on time, be exclusive, rather than inclusive. The idea is to have more people in fewer meetings in order to save time. If your team is huge, you might have to deal with the fact that most of the sharing will come from 10–15 participants. Still, you should encourage everyone that has something to say to contact you after the official meeting or set up a project update meeting that will last longer.
A huddle meeting should be conducted once every day, usually at the beginning of the working day. If you’re a manager or a team leader, you might have another huddle meeting with other team leaders or superiors, making it two per day.
5. Meeting Operator
Usually, the daily huddle is run by the project manager or the team leader. His/her responsibility is to start/end the meeting on time and make sure workers don’t turn the conversation into an irrelevant discussion that should be talked about in another meeting, such as a weekly update. If the meeting is conducted online, they also have to provide a link to a virtual meeting room. Moreover, they are in charge of sticking to the agenda and taking notes if necessary.
When it comes to a daily huddle meeting agenda, there are three important things to include.
- What did you do yesterday?
- What are your priorities for today?
- Is there anything that has you stuck?
Important agenda key points to remember:
- Spend no more than five minutes per each item.
- Let attendees share key activities, meetings and discussions that happened yesterday and will occur today in the first minutes of the meeting.
- Spend around five minutes discussing the daily metrics your company monitors. Watch out for patterns or trends.
- During the last five minutes of the meetings, discuss concerns, problems or issues that team members are facing and that can prevent them from fulfilling their daily obligations at work. The team leader should pay attention to patterns of issues and determine if there are any bigger problems that should be addressed.
Tips for Productive Daily Huddle Meetings
- Set the start of the daily huddle at an odd time. For example, 9:07 or 10:13. This way, workers are more likely to be on time.
- Use a timer for the first few weeks of huddle meeting implementation. Even if you can’t complete the agenda, it’s essential to end the meeting on time. This way, team members will learn how essential it is to be straightforward, concise and the importance of improving meeting ROI.
- Each person should get not more than one minute to discuss the agenda points. This means that if your team is composed of five people, idealistically your daily huddle meeting will be no longer than 5 minutes.
- Encourage team members to share issues and problems they are facing regardless of the outcome. Each employee should be aware of what’s problematic even though they might not be directly affected by it or be able to assist with resolving the issue.
- Be mindful of employees who keep saying they have nothing to report and that everything is fine. There might be a bigger problem lurking.
- Embrace technology for your daily huddle meeting. The right software can do wonders for keeping track of action items and assignments. Remote workers will also feel connected to team members.
What to Avoid in a Daily Huddle Meeting
- Don’t turn it into a resentful lengthy meeting that was supposed to be only 15 minutes long. The daily huddle is just one type of meeting you and your team will have to have. Save the deeper discussions for meetings that can fit them. Don’t pile too much or request/expect too much information to be shared.
- Watch out for multiple daily huddle meetings. You can have separate 15-minute meetings for each internal project if many of the project teams are composed of the same members. They will end up attending up to five daily huddles, which can be quite frustrating. Have only one huddle meeting and designate a team member who will provide updates. If the rest of the employees want to say something, leave the rest of the 15 minutes for items of interest.
- Learn how to avoid micromanaging. Don’t ask for a detailed, minute-to-minute explanation on what someone did the previous day. Look forward, instead.
Daily Huddle Agenda Template
(Note: No More Than 15 Minutes)
Important updates, accomplishments, task completions, etc. that are group worthy. What was done yesterday and what will be done today. If there’s nothing significant to share, honor time and simply say that you have no big updates.
Sales, profits, analytics or any other leading indicator that showcases how the business is doing.
3. Stuck Items
Problems for you or your team that others should be aware of. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a stuck item.
Setting up a daily huddle meeting as a ground rule for your organization can help you with synchronizing your team. It will create a meeting rhythm and we all know that meetings are the backbone of every organization.
The huddle definitely works. It works even better if you combine it with modern technology as things will go even faster and smoother.
Following the above-mentioned tips, tricks and agenda will improve your next huddle. You have to make sure that people are getting useful information from their daily stand-up meetings. Otherwise, this whole exercise will turn into one complete waste of time.
As a team leader or manager, you should always keep an eye for warning signs and re-evaluate your approach to daily huddles if necessary. They are certainly worth the investment.