November 16, 2022

How standup bots make standups more effective

How standup bots make standups more effective

Running an effective standup meeting is the key to running an effective team, however it isn't always an easy task. Luckily, switching to an asynchronous standup bot to automate the process helps solve some of these challenges naturally. In this article we will look at 5 ways standup bots can make your standups more effective with no extra effort involved.

1. Meeting length is no longer a concern

With traditional standups, typically there is a set amount of time allotted every day, such as 30 minutes, where the team gets together and talks about their updates. It is not uncommon for these meetings to get derailed or run over time as a result of off-topic discussions or topics that would be better served being discussed in their own meeting. In these cases it is important that an individual on the team (such as a scrum master) keeps the meeting running on time.

With a standup bot, meeting length is no longer a concern as each team member receives a reminder to submit their status updates and can complete their standup report when convenient for them. With this approach there is no longer a need to meet at a specific time and keep to a strict schedule (which is already a difficult enough task).

2. Standups have clear structure

With traditional standups, it's important to ensure a consistent structure is maintained. This doesn't mean that the meeting should be overly formal, however it should still be organized and focused. Once again, it's important to have an individual on the team enforce some form of organization in the meeting as far as questions asked, topics covered, and so on.

With a standup bot, each participant is sent the same prompt that includes a set of questions that should be answered and once the report is complete, it is typically sent to the rest of the team in the same structure so every report is consistent.

3. Blockers are more visible

With traditional standups, each participant will typically mention anything impeding their progress as they talk about their status update for the day. Although this normally works well, it's also easy to overlook or forget about points being mentioned as blockers throughout the standup as each person completes their turn.

With a standup bot, each participant typically has a question about blockers much like a traditional standup, however since these are answered asynchronously, they must be recorded and posted to a central spot. As a result, there is always a record of any blockers that the team can more easily see and act on. Also, standup bots typically come with additional functionality that allows participants to make it more visible when blockers are present by tagging other members, for example.

4. All team members participate consistently

With traditional standups, each participant is invited and should attend the meeting, however in reality participants may occasionally have conflicts with other meetings, they may forget to attend for any number of reasons, and so on. Since there is a set time block for the standup, if a participant misses that block, they either don't provide their standup that day or need to find another way to try and inform the team another way.

With a standup bot, standups are recorded asynchronously so although the report reminder may get sent out to each participant at a scheduled time, they don't necessarily need to respond right away. As a result, if a participant is currently busy (such as in another meeting) as they receive the reminder, they can get it done once they're free and don't need to worry about their status update for the day being unheard.

5. All team members feel included

With traditional standups, the entire team gets together and takes turns providing updates, however if half the team is remote and the other half is not, it can sometimes be difficult to make the remote participants feel like they're there and equally involved in discussions if they're having to conference into the meeting.

With a standup bot, all standups are done individually and sent to a central spot where anyone on the team can equally contribute. At this point it doesn't matter if you're in office, working from home for the day, or fully remote, as each team member completes their standup in the exact same fashion.

Looking to try a standup bot?

Looking to try a standup bot for your team to take advantage of some of the benefits listed above? Give StandupWizard for Slack a try to automate your team standups directly in Slack.

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