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My Experience with Daily Huddles

by Teena Jelsma on June 27, 2016

Topics: Productivity

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We’ve been huddling for more than a year now at Wings4U. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a daily huddle is the act of gathering your team or entire company together for 15 minutes, every day. The purpose of a daily huddle is to align and maintain focus, to share priorities and clear blockers or issues that someone might be facing that day.

Like most of you, I detest meetings for the sake of meetings. I’d rather be doing something productive with my time.  

So, do they work? 

Well, I’m pleased to report that they totally add value to my day. The concept is sound, we’ve proven the benefits and I look forward to our daily huddles.

Here’s the Who, How, Where, What and Why of how daily huddles are working for us. 

Who – Deciding who attends

We are a global agency, without any fixed offices in the world. We embrace #WorkAnywhere and the remote culture. Our core team are spread across every time zone. 

To ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep, we hold three daily huddles in three separate timezones. On the call are core team members, regardless of their role. Our APAC daily huddle started with three people in early 2015 and it’s now grown to six of us on the call. For cross-timezone needs and alignment we have other regular calls set up in our company rhythm.

How and where – How we implement it

We connect at 9am every morning via Skype. Cameras on. This is a priority call for all of us and we try not to schedule client meetings and calls at this time. We agree on who will connect the call every day, and who will do it in case of their absence. The call goes on even if only two people can make it.

 

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What – Our huddle agenda

We take advantage of our small huddle. We give everyone a chance to speak. From everyone, we want to know what their priority for the day is (not a list of everything they’re going to do, just the main priority – it might be a proposal, client meeting, or production of a video for a client) and if they have any blockers, or obstacles.

While discussing these things, we share specifics. Names of clients and numbers of proposals or costs. 

Importantly, we keep this call to 15 mins – hard stop. In-depth discussions are taken offline by those involved directly.

Why – The benefits

We clear blockers every day. Problems don’t fester tucked away in a quiet corner. They are addressed daily, and summarily dismissed or escalated as required. I’m no longer surprised at the unlikely ways we now solve problems! The collective knowledge of our APAC huddle is inspiring stuff.

Motivation and productivity from the huddles enhances our virtual culture. We have good systems and tools in place to ensure connectedness amongst our colleagues, and the daily huddles add to this in a positive way.

Daily huddles would be so easy to set up in a traditional office environment, and with today’s technology, they are completely do-able no matter the structure of your organization. I love this Rockefeller habit and am pleased to work with a company that continues to implement such smart and simple measures.

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