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Project Management 101: What to Include in your Standup

June 12, 2020 in Projects 101

Much like that first coffee of the day, a morning stand-up is becoming an increasingly crucial part of many project managers’ schedules. What’s a stand-up? Glad you asked. When you hear people in digital project management use this term, they’re referring to a short, 10-to-15-minute team meeting scheduled at the beginning of the day, often held while literally standing up (to maximize brevity).

The goal of the meeting is equal parts motivation, problem solving and progress report, allowing your team an opportunity to zero in before they start the day’s tasks.

It’s a core component of the Agile project management methodology, but many organizations are choosing to incorporate it into their projects whether they consider themselves agile or not, because it’s an excellent tool to regroup, focus and develop clear expectations for your day.

Give a clear and concise progress report

A major part of the stand-up is letting your team know what work you did the day prior, what tasks you plan to tackle today and whether you anticipate any obstacles holding you back.

The key with this is to be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell your team you’re continuing to work on a certain phase, make sure you specify exactly what tasks within that phase you plan to tackle and when you anticipate that being complete.

Not only does this keep your team in the loop, but it gives yourself a clear view of what you need to focus on for the day. In the event that someone else’s role depends on you finishing a task or delivering information, it keeps them in the loop as well.

Make your stand-up visual with task management software

If you’re managing your project with the help of task management software, you can make the goals you talk about in your daily stand-ups accessible to everyone. Long after your stand-up has wrapped up and your team is busy at their desks, using a centralized, digital platform as a vision board allows everyone to be engaged and keeps your team accountable.

Projects often depend on certain team members finishing their tasks or providing information by a certain timeline, so that another team member can finish their respective tasks. Adding a visual component allows team members to see who’s responsible for what and when they anticipate it being complete.

If you happen to be working with remote team members who may not be able to come in physically for the stand-up, this becomes an even more important step.

Use this opportunity to build problem-solving habits

Having your team check in day after day is a great opportunity to build a healthy mindset, rhythm and effective problem solving habits.

If your team reports one or more consistent obstacles during the stand-up, this can be a good lead-in to solve a larger problem. If the obstacles reported are smaller in nature, your team will have the opportunity to sharpen their problem solving skills on the fly, learning to identify and creatively tackle obstacles within a short timeframe. You might be surprised how useful this skill becomes in other aspects of their work.

Your stand-up can also be a motivational session, allowing you to see and hear about the team’s progress. It allows everyone to track the direction of the project and identify the completion rate of certain tasks, which is key to evaluating how smoothly the project is flowing.

Implementing a daily stand-up into your project management is a great compliment to using project collaboration software. It’s a tangible, on-the-ground opportunity for your team to meet in person, share their goals and hone their problem solving skills in a short timeframe.

Want to see how TaskBranch can make all parts of your project – including daily stand-ups – better? Start your free 30 day trial today.

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