However, a daily meeting isn’t necessarily a bad idea—if structured correctly.
The huddle is a short, yet focused meeting that developers hold on a daily basis.
However, to reap all these benefits, you’ll have to organize the huddle the right way.
To find out how, keep reading. In fact, think of this article as your huddle cheat sheet.
Table of Contents
Schedule the huddle at the beginning of the day
There’s not much use in defining the day’s goals at 2 pm—the day’s already over.
Consequently, the only logical time for the huddle is the morning—when the day’s just begun.
Bug and crash reporting tool for your mobile app.
You’ll want to achieve this hyper-focused state as early as possible to take advantage of the full eight hours.
With a morning huddle, however, they capitalize on the entire workday.
That way, you can prevent setbacks such as two people performing the same task, waiting for an unavailable colleague, etc.
For a real-life example, look at this Reddit user’s use of daily huddles:
Regarding the exact timing, we recommend beginning the meeting 30 minutes after everyone is in the office. So, for example, if the day typically starts at 8 am, schedule the huddle for 8:30.
If at 9 am, 9:30.
With this approach, you don’t swamp your team the second they set foot in the office, but the meeting is still early enough to impact the remainder of the day.
You can select the time and days in advance, and the bot will always stick to that schedule:
Keep the huddle brief
The secret to the daily huddle’s effectiveness lies in its brevity.
In other words, the time limit prevents the meeting from becoming unproductive.
The shorter the meeting, the more likely your developers are focused and paying attention.
At that time of day, you want to conserve your energy to direct it toward your tasks, not on standing up.
So, all you’d be doing is literally following the meeting’s guidelines!
Instead, discussions are conducted whenever suits each team member best.
Your developers will respond to the questions as soon as they are able.
Appoint a meeting facilitator
The facilitator ensures that the meeting proceeds as planned, leading to maximum productivity.
However, the facilitator doesn’t necessarily have to be the team leader.
One easy way to appoint a facilitator is simply assigning a week per developer. That way, each team member has adequate time to learn the role and perfect their facilitation skills. After all, practice makes perfect!
For example, neutrality is a vital quality they’ll have to polish. The meeting leader isn’t there to dictate the content and make decisions but to create a positive environment where the team can decide as a group.
Daily huddles can often devolve into broader topics that should require their own dedicated meeting, so the facilitator needs to be alert.
This developer offered a simple yet effective tactic for keeping the conversation on track:
Although this approach can come off as a little aggressive, it gets the job done and ensures that the discussion stays focused.
Concluding the meeting is equally important as the actual discussions, as it sets the tone for the remainder of the day.
The end of a meeting in a daily huddle is particularly pertinent as most daily huddles are held early in the morning. If the facilitator can finish the meeting well, those positive connotations will influence the rest of the workday.
Set clear topics of discussion
That way, you and your developers will know exactly what you have to go over.
The answers to these three questions make an invaluable resource, as you’ll essentially have a clear yet concise overview of each team member’s progress regarding the project.
That way, you’ll have a visual reminder of what the huddle’s structure should look like and keep it in check.
That way, you’ll easily record your developers’ answers without losing sight of the meeting’s structure.
Typically the tasks closest to completion are first on the agenda, and then the team works backward to the least-worked on items.
The video below explains the concept in more detail:
Since all the talking points are displayed in front of you, you should experience a sense of urgency to make it through all of them.
Here’s an example:
Tackle the tasks from right to left, from almost done to barely started, and you’ll have a system to cover all possible discussion points.
Aim for consistency
Last but not least, keep your huddles consistent. In other words, hold your huddles at the same time, in the same place, in the same manner, every day.
The meeting becomes a natural, expected portion of their day.
Ideally, you’d want to get to the point where your developers would be off-balance if the daily huddle were held at a different time, in a separate room, or even canceled altogether.
Employees could only enter the room to host a meeting, making it a no-brainer to hold the daily huddle there.
As noted above, information related to the project was never removed from the room’s walls, which would be a perfect accessory to the daily huddle.
In fact, it would undoubtedly increase the daily huddle’s quality.
Beginning the meeting on time can sometimes be challenging, as early morning starts aren’t everyone’s favorites.
For example, try adopting an ‘if one of us is late, we’re all late’ principle. Treat all your developers as tardy until they’re all punctual, and if they do all show up on time, reward them.
The gesture doesn’t need to be anything grand; a lunch paid for by the company or a complimentary cake. However, you’ll still communicate how much you appreciate their punctuality.
The daily huddle is a hallmark of high-functioning development teams. Included in almost every Agile environment, its advantages have been proven countless times.
To make the most of your daily huddle, schedule it for the beginning of the day, and keep it brief.
Furthermore, always assign a meeting facilitator. They’ll make sure the meeting follows the clear topics of discussion chosen beforehand.
Finally, aim for consistency. If your daily huddles follow a pattern, your developers will quickly get used to them.
Incorporate these best practices, and you’re all set—your daily huddle will turn out awesome!