Blog Friday Q&A

Friday Q&A: How Often Should Remote Teams “Meet”?

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Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.

Happy Friday!

This week’s question is:

We’ve tried a lot of different approaches, from weekly meetings, to daily, and some alternatives in between.

I’ve outlined them in the past, but ultimately the approach we use today contains one key thing that was missing from all of the attempts that failed: structure.

How you do your remote “meetings” is more important than how often.

We learned this at one of our leadership retreats where our business coach showed us a video that blew my mind.

It was of the team at 1-800-Got-Junk running a daily standup, where nearly 20 people participated and shared updates, and the meeting still took less than 7 minutes.

It made our 9-person 45-minute meetings look amateur in comparison.

And it all came down to structure; we didn’t really have any.

So we set out to optimize our meetings, and here’s the structure we now have that works best for us:

Project Owner

Someone needs to be in charge of keeping meetings in check, and bringing the team back on course if we begin to stray. Lesley owns meetings for our team, and handles scheduling and moderating.

Monday Recap Meeting — 30 Minutes

20 Minutes — Chat about weekends, personal things, anything that the group wants to discuss. This is culture time.

2 Minutes — Good news. Anybody that has good news (Groove-related or otherwise) shares it now, giving the team the chance to celebrate victories each day.

7 Minutes — Standups. Each team member shares what they accomplished the previous week, what they’re planning to work on in the coming week, and what blockers stand in their way. No more than 60 seconds per person, often less. This takes practice to be able to do well, but now that we’ve all gotten good at it, it’s an incredibly powerful way to distill the most important things that the team needs to know about.

30 Seconds — Numbers. I share the previous week’s metrics with the team.

30 Seconds — Word of the day. A fun way to put an exclamation point at the end of each meeting. Lately our word of the day has come from a random Cards Against Humanity card that Lesley pulls each day.

Tuesday–Thursday Daily Standup — 10 Minutes

2 Minutes — Good news.

7 Minutes — Standups.

30 Seconds — Numbers.

30 Seconds — Word of the day.

Friday Update — 20 Minutes

2 Minutes — Good news.

7 Minutes — Standups.

30 Seconds — Numbers.

30 Seconds — Word of the day.

10 Minutes — Lesley shares customer feedback from the week, both good and bad. This is enormously helpful in putting our customers front and center for every member of the team, and making sure that we’re all thinking about why our customers do business with us, and what we can do better.

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From “aha” to “oh shit”, we’re sharing everything on our journey to $10M in annual revenue. We’re learning a lot and so will you.

About the Author

Alex Turnbull is the CEO & Founder of Groove (simple helpdesk software for small businesses) who loves to build startups and surf.

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