Posted May 27, 2014, By Nathan Eyers, Operations Director
It's uncomfortably hypocritical that I am writing this blog from my home office at exactly the time of day that I should be stood in front of my colleagues taking our daily stand-up.
Anyway following the apparent interest in what I do, and the moderate acknowledgement of my previous blog about being a successful producer, I am now about to share my thoughts on what it takes to deliver a successful stand-up on a daily basis.
Let's be honest with each other, it's a remarkably dry subject and the repetition can really get on your nerves; so here's how I tackle that 'Monday feeling' every day of the week.
We're a medium sized agency and we're growing up, and as we do we're trying to hold on to our unique beauty and individuality, and that's my first rule: We're a family, a collection of personalities and differing skills, and the stand-up gives me the chance to play on that, singling people out and bringing their character very much into the middle of the team. There's nothing and nowhere to hide - we're all in it together!
Our particular agency has three distinct offerings, and I combine the departments of insight, strategy, and content in our stand-up. That shared visibility gives us real empathy and keeps us moving forward together. We also talk about the internal projects we have going on, and also how new business is shaping up. We share in the success, and know when we need to tighten our belt, or find another gear.
We also have a large team in Cape Town and whilst it would be ambitious to combine the two offices, we do make sure that we discuss any requirements and dependencies and share them shortly afterwards.
We've just made a switch to Atlassian's Confluence and it's made an enormous difference to the way we communicate and function as an international agency. It means that we can leave a lot of the tedium and detail out of the stand-up and focus purely on the headlines and fun stuff!
Timing is of course crucial, and I start promptly (?) at 9:15 even though stragglers are always still wandering in with a coffee at 9:18. I keep it as short as possible and between 10 - 15 minutes.
I've tried different styles, settings and formats but the one we have at the moment seems to work the best. A good old fashioned white board, and different coloured pens. You can't beat it!
Following the stand-up updates and tasks are added to Confluence and away we go for another day.
In summary my tips to hosting a good stand up are: honesty, visibility, good communication, treating people as individuals, timing, humour, and routine.
I only hope that as our team grows that we can hold on to these values.