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10 Reasons We Have Daily Stand Up Meetings
By Michael Marsiglia

Every day at our company starts with a brief, informal meeting. In the corporate world, “team” meetings leave a bad taste in most people’s mouths’ as being unnecessarily long, drawn out and ultimately of little value. Our approach is a bit different than your typical sit-around-the-conference table meeting for a few reasons:

  1. Meetings create a “brain trust”. Clients generally have two or four employees working on a project at any given time. Morning meetings give employees who are not necessarily involved with the project a chance to offer their wisdom, advice and problem-solving skills.

  2. Meetings unify the team. It is not always easy to tell what various groups are working on. This is a chance to talk about what each employee is currently involved with. Knowing what others have worked on in the past provides employees with a mental reference of who may be valuable to their projects in the future.

  3. Anyone may suggest a topic. Throughout the day, as ideas emerge, all employees are encouraged to add to the next morning’s meeting agenda by placing a short note or keyword on the chalk board. The chalkboard helps direct focus to the most relevant topics at hand.

  4. The meetings are cheap. Standing keeps it short. No chairs, no tables allowed. Meetings rarely go much past the five-minute mark. This also eliminates the possibility of distraction by iPhones, laptops or any other device that could feasibly be resting on the table in front of the employee.

  5. Learn from everyone’s mistakes. The reality is that while we always try our hardest not to, we do sometimes make mistakes. The sharing of information and lessons learned at the meetings can save other employees from making similar mistakes. This ultimately saves the company time, improves efficiency and increases client satisfaction.

  6. Stand up meetings are very focused. Once the meeting begins all topics are work-related. No small talk. Topics all relate back to relevant issues surrounding the office, current projects or the industry at large.

  7. Meetings are scheduled at 9AM, with mandatory attendance. This spurs employees to arrive at the office consistently and on time. In a tech office where work can theoretically be done remotely, this creates motivation to spend time in the office on a consistent basis. Time spent in the office often results in spontaneous collaborative efforts and problem solving sessions that in turn benefit our client’s projects and our efficiency.

  8. Employees keep each other updated. The tech industry moves quickly. A mountain of new information is published daily. The meeting gives employees a chance to share the information they have personally found most relevant and valuable, which others may have missed.

  9. Introductions are made. As new employees and customers appear around the office, it gives everyone a chance to say “hi” and meet the new face. This makes the new hire feel welcome, and fosters community within the office environment.

  10. Meetings generate conversation. As topics are discussed, ideas are fostered which lead to additional discussion. This leads to discussion and collaborative opportunities among employees, after the meeting is adjourned.

Michael Marsiglia, MBA, is a vice president in Atomic Object. Michael began working with the founders of Atomic Object in the summer of 2000 after his freshman year in college. After completing the computer science degree at Grand Valley State University in 2003, Michael made the transition from intern to full time employee. Over the next few years Michael played a vital role in helping to establish the identity and best practices of the small company.

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