How to run a virtual stand-up meeting
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How to run a virtual stand-up meeting

26th April 2021
By Tom Ladle

Stand-up meetings are a great way to get your working day off to a productive start and make sure your team is all on the same page – but what’s the best way to run a virtual stand-up meeting? And, in fact, just what is a stand-up meeting? Read on to discover our top tips and best practices for running stand-up meetings.

Let’s face it, we’re all seeing a calendar stuffed full of meeting invites. We’ve learned to adapt to working life during lockdown, logging on to work from home each day, but what was previously a quick question across the desk to someone else in your team is now a pre-booked 15-minute-minimum video call, and it’s easy for your day to end up being completely booked with lots of smaller, shorter meetings with teammates. That’s why the stand-up meeting is perfect for a busy team, especially if you’re trying to encourage virtual collaboration but you’ve all got plenty on your plate.

What is a stand-up meeting?

A stand-up meeting is, at its most basic, just what it sounds like: a meeting at which everyone stands up. That’s oversimplifying a bit, though. A stand-up meeting is meant to be a very brief catch up with your team to run through everyone’s plans and deliverables for the day. In 15 minutes or less, your team members should know what’s expected of them for the day, and be aware of current team goals plus what their colleagues are working on.

The standing-up part is to encourage everyone to keep the meeting brief, energetic, and dynamic – no settling into comfy board room chairs or trying to find a meeting room with enough space for everyone to spread out. It’s not compulsory; just a good way to keep your energy up and encourage the meeting to stay short and snappy.

A stand-up meeting is also sometimes called a morning update, or sometimes a huddle or a scrum. But whatever you call it, the point is to keep it short, to-the-point, and focused on action. Although we love a good icebreaker, a stand-up meeting isn’t really the place to catch up with co-workers or even to bring up larger questions – it’s a focused 15 minutes on your specific goals and deliverables.

Do you really need to stand up in a stand-up meeting?

Standing through a meeting might feel a bit absurd at first. But there are benefits – standing up engages your muscles, and sends blood and oxygen through the body, helping to energise you. And there’s even research that sitting down for too many meetings could be detrimental – a study by UCLA researchers in 2018 found that sitting too much could be linked to the thinning in the section of the brain that is critical for memory. So give your brain a helping hand, and stand!

Of course, it’s important to make your meetings accessible too – so if you have people on your team who are unable or less able to stand for long periods, then ditch the name and keep the point. The only truly important part of a stand-up meeting is the tight focus on team goals and deliverables.

Can you run a virtual stand-up meeting?

The stand-up meeting is obviously intended for a team working in the office, but in our ‘new normal’ where hybrid working is sure to become more common, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t move over to a virtual stand-up meeting using video call software like PowWowNow.

If you’re running a virtual stand-up meeting, it might feel a bit daft to actually stand around in your home office or at the kitchen table. As long as you’re keeping to a tight timescale and focusing on what your team need to discuss that day, you can skip the standing if holding up laptops and iPads seems a bit risky.

Stand-up meeting best practices

Running a stand-up meeting should be relatively straightforward, but here are some top tips for stand-up meeting best practices to make sure you’re getting your team’s day off to a productive start.

It should be easy and simple

However you connect with your team, the setup should be fast and simple.

  • Simple video calling: If your call takes 10 minutes of faffing around to set up, it’s going to cut into valuable meeting time. Pick smart video calling software like PowWowNow to make sure your meeting is easy to join so you can make the most of your stand-up meeting.
  • Easy screen sharing: Chances are you’ve got a team status document, or productivity tools and software that you use to track ongoing work and deadlines. Easy screen sharing means you can make sure everyone’s on the same page – literally.

Luckily, our video conferencing solution offers everything you need. Check out our video call 101 guide for everything you need to know.

Establish a structure

You’ve only got 15 minutes, so make them count. A structured stand-up meeting allows you to keep things moving along, so make sure you account for all of your team with an agenda you can stick to each morning. PowWowNow allows you to upload an agenda, so everyone knows the score, or you could have a set order for your team to go around and update.

Stick to the time

The 15-minute time limit for a stand-up meeting might feel arbitrary, but unless you have a very large team it’s a good idea to stick to it. It doesn’t take too much time out of everyone’s day, so you’ll have the security of knowing that your team knows what’s going on without getting in the way of them actually achieving their goals.

Convinced? If you need to make sure your team is connected and efficient, give a stand-up meeting a try, whether you’re in the office or hosting one via a video call. Alternatively, for more tips and tricks on how to have efficient video calls, head on over to our blog.

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