Async Standups

 In the more global world that we live in, people are not only working remotely, but people are working across the globe and critically across many time zones. Due to our global reach even within a team, we have less daylight that we share with our coworkers. In the past, I’ve been part of very successful remote standups, but I noticed they only really work well if you are in close time zones. If you only have 1 hour of overlap with your coworker, do you really want to be going over high-level status with your broader team? I’ve asked my teams about this, and I got a very loud “NO!”

We all use Slack as a communication tool, so I started an experiment with a team where a bot posts in the channel at the beginning of the earliest person on the team’s day. It asks a few simple questions:

@team-name welcome to today and good morning!

  • What did you work on yesterday?

  • What are you intending to work on today?

  • What blockers do you have on your priorities?

  • What help do you need?

As people trickle in throughout the day, you see people start to post their updates. Since I added an at-mention in the post, each update gets shared with the team, and this encourages team members to read and help when needed. It also helps the manager know when any blockers are flagged so we know to go help unblock.

In summary, you can implement the same thing as a standup but do it in a more async way to accommodate different schedules and give people more flexibility in their day. It can drag out people being blocked a bit longer, but I’ve found that if the manager is on top of it, they can be resolved in short order. This also saves 5 x 30 x (team size) developer minutes per day.


Popular posts from this blog

Supporting People, Process, and Projects

Year in Review - 2021 Edition