Slack Standup Meetings are great: they take less time than traditional standup meetings, people don’t discuss updates unrelated to their work, and they are great for introverts.
Working as a remote team ourselves, we conduct daily standups in Slack. Though it is great in overcoming the shortcomings of traditional standups, it has some major problems of its own.
Since it is likely that these problems are faced by many remote teams around the world, we thought it would be better to write an article discussing this issue in detail.
In this post, we will cover:
Problems with Slack Standup Meetings
The solution to these problems
So, what are the common problems remote teams encounter during standups?
1. Loss of personal touch within the team
The main advantage of traditional standup meetings is the personal touch it provided. While working with a remote distributed team, it becomes quite challenging to maintain that personalized feel when using slack. Team leaders point out the need for face to face meetings with the members.
2. The standup notification timing might not be suitable for some members
Although it is easy to set up a reminder in Slack standup, it can be quite inflexible for remote teams. One of the biggest problems is not able to cater to the standup notifications to the time zone of all the team members. For example:
The standup meeting notification is pushed out at 09:00 am IST. It is okay for team members in India and countries around it. But for team members residing in the UK, it is problematic (as the local time is 4:30 am). This, we believe, is the biggest disadvantage of Slack Standup meetings.
3. Inability to see a member’s history of standup responses
It is crucial for team leaders to track the progress and input of team members over time to improve the overall performance. Since responses do not roll up to a member’s profile on Slack, it can be a grueling task to see someone’s contribution over time.
4. No option of running cross-team meetings
Working on a project requires the input of a variety of teams. It is easy to run a traditional standup meeting with members from different teams. However, this is not an option when members are not in the same Slack workspace. So, the project managers run in a fix when they want the involvement of members from other teams.
5. Lack of Participation in Slack Standup Meetings
The purpose of standups in Slack is defeated due to the lack of participation from some members. They either share too little information or ignore the standup prompts completely.
If you want a solution to these problems, you should turn to the right Slack Standup Bots. In order to run smooth and effective standups, you should follow the best practices for that Slack bot.
Both free and paid options are available. But if you want more flexibility and advanced control over your standups, you should definitely go for a paid option.
Most of these apps are similar in functionality, but you will find that Troopr is the only Slack Standup Bot that addresses all the issues. (plus it has a 30-day free trial period and is completely free for teams with less than 25 users)
Let me show you how.
Troopr helps you run asynchronous standup meetings in Slack.
1. Teams that value personal connection among members can use the slack standup meeting as a video meeting preparation.
Use Troopr to send the video meeting questions in Slack a few minutes before the call. During the video call, members can refer to the updates in slack and quickly address them. The meeting is focused on crucial matters, which saves a lot of time.
2. You can set up Troopr to notify members at their respective time zones.
For example, if we set the standup time to 09:00 am and you select the option of “User local timezone”, Troopr slackbot will prompt users to answer the questions at 09:00 am in their respective time zones.
As a result, everyone can answer the stand up questions according to their convenience.
3. Another benefit that Troopr provides is that it allows managers to see how different team members have contributed over time. It is possible to go back in time and have a look at the team’s standup answers.
It comes in handy to analyze the outcome of a project. Some managers even use it to evaluate an employee’s performance over time.
4. Troopr allows you to collaborate with people outside your company by running cross-team standups in Slack shared channel. You have the option to add partners and contractors in your standup as participants.
5. As for members who show a lack of participation, the project manager should remind everyone about the purpose of the standups, that is, to keep everyone informed regarding the progress of the project. For members who provide too little or vague information, the manager should follow up and should ask them to commit to writing substantial updates. The members will be notified to complete the standup a few minutes before the report is prepared.
Besides solving these crucial issues, Troopr goes out of its away to provide additional benefits such as:
1. Users do not have to answer the questions when the slackbot notifies you. You can use Snooze request to tell Troopr to get back to you at a later time. This feature prevents the standup from disrupting your workflow.
2. Troopr slackbot provides an effective, data-driven user report that is easily shareable. You can even browse and filter reports by the user.
3. Using Slack Standup Bots, you have the option to receive standup summaries via email. Additional flexibility is provided by allowing managers to set the frequency of these email summaries.
As you can see, Troopr provides the solution to all the problems with Slack Standup Meetings. Moreover, it provides some additional features to help remote teams run smooth and effective standups.
We have been using Troopr slackbot for our own standup meetings for over 2 years. Additionally, Troopr is used by agile teams from Intel, Adobe, Electronic Arts (EA), Time Internet, and more.