Since its inception, Hashtag Interactive has slowly grown into a family-team hybrid that can pull off awesome creative output while having fun in the process. The dynamic of our super tight knit and productive team, however, did not just happen accidentally. It took a lot of time, effort and communication before this group of talented individuals, each with their own set of skills and styles were able to work seamlessly together to produce kickass campaigns. And it’s all possible thanks to our daily Stand Up meetings.
Want to optimise your own team’s efforts? Here’s everything you need to know to pull off an effective stand-up session.
What exactly is a stand up meeting?
It’s definitely not your standard status report; the idea of a stand up meeting is pretty straight-forward. It’s a quick 15-minute session at the start of our day where the entire team huddles together (sometimes literally – arms joined and all!) and updates everyone on their most important tasks of the day. This has allowed us to become the ultimate super team despite being assigned to different projects and being hundreds of miles away from each other.
Some house rules
- Stand ups must be done daily and should ideally start at the beginning of the work day. If not, it should be done as soon as possible.
- Stand Ups always happen.
- Everyone must be standing up, literally. This helps speed the discussion along since at some point everyone just wants to sit back down.
- Everyone must participate with the exception of new team members on their first day, since their very first Stand Up is meant to help them get a feel of the concept.
Stand Up needs to stay very brief and concise – we always try to stay on topic! (But sometimes there’s some silliness and laughing thrown in.)
Why we stand up:
Let’s Taco Bout It
By being on our feet while talking about our projects we skip any introductions or unnecessary information and get straight to the point: What needs to be done today? What needs to be solved? Who do we need to coordinate with? What details does the team need to hear and what needs to be taken offline? What’s for lunch? There are only so many hours in the day and none (or very little) is saved for dilly dallying! Any specific project details are saved for team-specific sit-down meetings after Stand Up.
Every project is done in teams of at least four team members, each of whom are also part of other projects. With the team working on several different projects at the same time, we use Stand Up to lay out all the tasks for the day based on priority. The 15 minutes we spend standing up together is used as time to update the entire team as well as our different project members about what we are prioritising for the day. This way, we are able to schedule personal tasks and synchronise it with other team members’ for the day accordingly, making our time at work more efficient.
Closing The Physical Gap
Having Stand ups unifies the team and closes the physical gap between Manila and Singapore, so it’s almost like we’re all working in the same office! There are people from both locations working on the same project and through Stand Up we are given a chance to have real-time communication about our tasks, as if we’re physically working together.
Team-ing With Community
Not everyone is working on the same project, but through Stand Up we learn about our colleagues’ position in the company and what they’re in charge of through their daily tasks. From this, we learn about their skills and what they do so that we know who to reach out to when we need help in the future. Plus, it serves as a great ice breaker for the new interns or team members!
From Stand Up, any details of problems and solutions of an ongoing project is brought up, which becomes an opportunity for others outside the project to learn from their colleagues’ mistakes and successes and apply them to their own project journeys. Stand Up is also the time anyone from the team can provide feedback on how to make Stand Ups more effective and fun, so we as a team always strive to find out how we can do things better.