✨ What is a daily meeting and why use it in construction?

✨ What is a daily meeting and why use it in construction?
Photo by Olga Guryanova / Unsplash

I'm going to talk to you today about an agile practice, which can really improve the coordination between the members of your team. It is a short meeting of 15 minutes maximum, that teams practice every day.

The daily meeting

This daily meeting is also called: daily meetup, standup meetup, or simply daily. But I hear you telling me. He pretend to be agile, and he proposes a daily meeting. If that's not meetingitis! Every day. Yes, but you'll see that it's a different type of meeting than the long, time-consuming meetings you're all too familiar with.

Why have a meeting every day?

Meeting systematically every day may scare you, or seem unnecessary.
But think about the time you spend every day trying to find out, where others are in,  trying to coordinate?

Also think about the time you can lose if :
👉 you do something that ultimately is not necessary
👉 you get stuck on something that another member of your team knows how to unblock
👉 you spend your time reassuring your superiors that things are moving forward
In short, coordinating is already part of your practices. Here it's just a matter of systematizing, of ritualizing a daily meeting to make a quick point without going into the details of the topics.

Is 15 minutes too short?

The daily meeting is a ritualized meeting, used in particular in the Scrum framework.
It is normally done standing up. If you are at a distance, don't feel obliged to get up from your sofa :) Remotely, it's a bit different.
Why standing? To make sure that things don't drag on, because as a human being, we quickly get tired of standing!
I had the chance to work in the journalism industry as a developer. And I was struck by the fact that editorial meetings, to define the topics to be covered during the day, are also often done standing up, probably for the same reason.
So the advantage of standing up is that you don't need a meeting room, and you can sit in front of your board. As long as you have some space in front of it :) Let's pull up the tables!

So what do we talk about at this meeting?

At the daily, you will quickly expose what you do on the project and more precisely :

👉 What you did the day before
👉 What you are going to do today
👉 Do you have a blocking point?

You won't go into detail about blocking points if you have any. They will be discussed in a post-daily exchange between the interested parties. Indeed, the daily must gather all the members of a project. Getting into the technical side of things would prevent a part of the audience from understanding and staying attentive.

Moreover, it is not a meeting on a particular subject, that is not its purpose.

The main purposes of this meeting are:
👉 to "synchronize" the team
👉 to bring out the possible blocking points
👉 to make sure that everyone has a vision of the progress

But be careful, ⚠️ this is not a reporting meeting! The team must position itself as an autonomous team and is not there to reassure the hierarchy. So team members talk to other team members. You don't have to apologize if things aren't going fast enough, that's not the point.

The burndown chart

This meeting can end with progress stats, for example the presentation of the burndown chart which is used in Scrum. It is a graph that shows the finished tasks in terms of points compared to the number of days left. This is a reminder of the priority order of tasks, the fact that it is better not to spread yourself and to finish one task rather than start two...

But again, no obligation.

📅 In practice this week, set up a daily in your team

So basically what I suggest you do:

✅ Talk to your team and tell them that you would like to test a short meeting every day. Don't forget to reassure them that it will be very short 15 minutes maximum

✅ Define with them what is the most appropriate time. It doesn't have to be in the morning when you arrive, but can be before you leave for lunch, mid-afternoon, before you leave in the evening, up to you and your team !

✅ Set the pace: If once a day seems too much, start with once every other day, per week? But be careful not to lose the pace. It also depends on whether people are working full time on a project or not, whether the project is moving fast or not. To prepare a competition rendering for example, a meeting every day is really important, because the pace is very fast and a mistake in prioritization can have really huge impact!

✅ Organize the first meetings around the board you have set up previously or remotely if you are telecommuting via your preferred online-conference tool.

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