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The Most Overlooked Part of Most Projects

December 12, 2019 in Projects 101

Over the years, I’ve been involved in hundreds of projects. Most of them I have managed, although several I’ve been either on the delivery team or the client team. Either way, despite the nature or scope, I’ve found that the success of a project often boils down to communication. As such, the practice that I find most valuable (and often the most overlooked) is a regular meeting.

What is a Stand-up Meeting?

In the context of a general project, a stand-up meeting is either a phone call or a physical meeting that takes place on a daily, semi-weekly or weekly basis (at the same time & day each time). Some call it a “scrum,” though I will avoid that terminology here as to not confuse this simple practice with the more robust, in-depth concept of scrum methodology.

A stand-up meeting should typically last no longer than 15 minutes, and serves as a key line of open communication between the different parties in a project. Depending on a project’s needs, it can either be internal (e.g. designers, developers, etc.) or external (e.g. vendor and client).

What Makes It Successful?

Regular stand-up meetings ensure that communication is open, and that all people at all times are aware of task statuses and challenges faced. If a challenge or issue arises, it also enables a platform for discourse (although more detailed conversations should be “taken offline” in a follow-up discussion).

Here are some tips for running a successful stand-up meeting:

  • Always schedule it for the same time and day (a recurring calendar event helps)
  • Always have the meeting even if some or most of the participants cannot join
  • If the meeting is a call, then secure a conference line or bridge
  • If the meeting is in person, then have everybody stand up to emphasize the meeting’s quick nature
  • Share everything good and bad – including news, updates, and issues
  • Keep updates short and sweet – if a conversation calls for more detail, force the relevant participants to chat in more detail afterward
What Are the Benefits?

Having regular stand-up meetings is a key project management practice that helps to keep all project members in the know. Even if a particular issue might seem irrelevant to others (such as a PHP error that a logo designer may not care about), it still helps to ensure everybody is informed and aware of a project’s status, timeline and complexities.

Get Started

If you use TaskBranch to manage your project, you can schedule a regular stand-up meeting using the Calendar tool. Simply create an event, invite the people you wish to include, and you’re good to go!


Aaron Shapland, PMP

Aaron leads the product and strategy team at TaskBranch, where he enjoys making project management easy for digital teams.