What Is A Stand Up Meeting? And What Are There Benefits?

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Meetings are part and parcel of every day life in the corporate world. Typically, meetings have been set in 30 minute or one hour increments, regardless of the amount of material that needs to be discussed. More recently however, there has been a trend to other shorter meeting structures. This includes the “stand up meeting”.

What Is A Stand Up Meeting

A stand up meeting is a brief meeting that is (typically) held on a regular basis. Basically, the meetings usually go for 15 minutes or left. This forces people to get to the point and get across their point of view succinctly.  Often, members will stand for the course of the meeting which explains why the meetings are so named.

Stand up meetings are also usually informal in nature. They don’t require a huge amount of notice to set up, can be run almost anywhere in an office and skip formalities such as taking minutes.

The main objectives of stand-up meetings are to discuss the progress and challenges associated with a project or task. They also serve as a forum for employees to interact with each other. This builds a positive company culture that can go a long way in fostering healthy working relationships among the employees.

Benefits of Stand- up Meetings

Short and Focused

Starnd up meetings short and focued

Research shows that employees generally dread lengthy meetings. And who can blame them given how monotonous and time consuming meetings can be?

It is therefore no surprise that stand up meetings are rather popular among employees. Their brief nature appeals to even the busiest of your staff and their effectiveness cannot be questioned.

Because of their short nature, people are more inclined to discuss the important stuff first rather than delving into unimportant matters. There is little time to spare during such meetings and members are usually focused on discussing the things that really matter.

The objectives of stand- up meetings are rather clear: to discuss the progress that employees are making and to address the challenges they may be facing. Therefore the meetings are rather focused. There is simply no room to digress.

Stand up meetings are therefore the best way to keep your staff updated without consuming much of their time. They allow people to get back to their work quickly having attained the objectives of the meeting.

Focused on Updating People Rather Than Discussing

Stand up meetings for updating people

If you often find yourself needing to update a small to medium team a stand up meeting can be an effecitve form of communication.

Given their short duration stand up meetings are ideally suited to updating people, rather than diving it to discuss large and complex topics.

While there is room for questions, and back and forward communication, using a stand up meeting as a way to update stakeholders or a project, to gather consensus on a previously discussed topic or to verbalise the next steps required is often ideal.

Additionally, it is rather easy to hold stand- up meetings daily. As a result stand up meeting also have a place in project teams that look to come together before the start of each work day.

Informal Setting

stand up meetings less formal

There is no denying that the formal nature of conventional meetings can stifle a lot of employees. People generally find it hard to open up in a formal environment.

Stand- up meetings are very informal. Everyone is encouraged to share updates on their work and the hardships they are facing in achieving their objectives. The informality of stand- up meetings inspires even the most reserved employees to make meaningful contributions.

One of the desired outcomes of stand- up meetings is to encourage collaboration among employees. When diffident employees open up during such meetings, their colleagues can offer to help them out with the challenges they are facing later in the day. This certainly improves efficiency within the organization a great deal.

Flexible and Easy to Run on Short Notice

A stand- up meeting does not require rigorous planning as is the case with formal meetings. There is no need to create an agenda, supply members with copies or even take minutes of the meeting. You can actually plan a stand- up meeting minutes before the agreed time.

Another perk of stand- up meetings is that they do not take up much time. Virtually all concerned members of staff will be able to find ten to fifteen minutes in their day for the meeting no matter how busy they are. The same can hardly be said of formal meetings that can last for hours.

Focuses on Actions/ Next Steps

Stand- up meetings are more focused on action rather than mere discussion. These are not policy- formulation meetings; they are more like directives of what needs to be done and what must be changed.

Focusing on action makes it easy for the team to set out clear goals and establish the steps leading to the achievement of those goals. This means that all the employees’ actions will be aligned to the achievement of those goals and this can considerably improve efficiency.

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About Author

Paul Towers - Founder @ Task Pigeon

Paul Towers is a 3x Entrepreneur and Founder of Task Pigeon. Join me on my journey to build an open & transparent startup from day one. Paul is also the founder of Startup Soda, a newsletter curating the best content from the Australian startup ecosystem.