Use asynchronous standups to improve team communication

Ted Bauer and Michael Boykin take on daily, synchronous standups in their article The Daily Standup is Broken, What Should You Do Now?

Asynchronous daily standups or check-ins help to put an end to boundless, traditional standup meetings and get the whole team on the same page with fewer meetings. And corresponding written status updates within a team coordination tool or platform — something that allows every team member to share and review updates from today, yesterday, or even last week — allow everyone to consume updates easily and on their own time.

We landed in a similar (asynchronous) place with our standups, and I wrote about it a while back in Useful daily standup meetings for remote teams:

The issue is always the same: How do we have standups that are useful and that don’t feel like busywork that just takes us away from the jobs we’re supposed to be doing? By using an asynchronous bot and adapting the questions to our needs, we accomplished a few important things:

  • Every member on the team takes a few minutes every morning to plan out their day, and troubleshoot anything that might have gone wrong the previous day.
  • Instead of weekly meetings of an hour long where we discuss what everyone’s working on, we now have focused 30-minute meetings every Monday where we solve problems and discuss issues that came up during the week.
  • I am much more equipped to fulfill my role as Product Manager because our updates are more frequent and the signal to noise ratio is extremely high.