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How to Run a Daily Huddle

Successfully Scaling Up with Daily Huddles

Here’s a phrase we’ve all heard before: “Teamwork makes the dream work” 

But how do we make sure our entire team is working together effectively? The answer is daily huddles. Huddles can transform the way your team communicates, collaborates and achieves business success.

In this blog, we'll unpack:

Here's a free Daily Huddle Agenda, on us! This helpful tool will guide you through running your next daily huddle.

1. What is a daily huddle?

A daily huddle is a short meeting, no more than 15 minutes. It’s important to keep your huddles short and sweet. By limiting the meeting to no more than 15 minutes, we can ensure that only the most important topics are covered, keeping everyone focused on what really matters.
The primary goal of a daily huddle is to foster communication, alignment, and accountability among team members, ensuring everyone is informed and focused on the team’s objectives for the day.

What is a daily huddle

2. What are the benefits of daily huddle meetings?

The main benefits of huddles is the ability for teams to:

Improve Communication: Daily team huddles facilitate regular and concise communication among your team, ensuring everyone stays informed about project updates, challenges, and successes in real-time.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: By providing a structured forum for sharing ideas and addressing issues, daily huddles encourage collaboration among team members, leading to increased synergy and better problem-solving.

Increased Accountability: Daily huddles create a sense of accountability as team members are expected to report on their progress and commitments daily. This fosters a culture of responsibility and encourages individuals to stay focused on their tasks.

Quick Issue Resolution: Huddles enable prompt identification and resolution of issues by providing a platform for team members to raise concerns or seek assistance. This proactive approach helps prevent small problems from escalating into larger ones.

Boosted Morale and Engagement: Regular check-ins through daily huddles show team members that their contributions are valued and their well-being is a priority. This fosters a positive work environment, boosts morale, and enhances overall team engagement and satisfaction.

What are the benefits of a daily huddle?

3. A typical daily huddle agenda

Many successful scale ups implement the following agenda to their daily huddles. Every company is different, however following this agenda is an important step to ensuring the success of your team huddles.

  1. “Any good news you would like to share?”. Introducing this question into the daily huddle promotes a positive and supportive team culture. By creating a space for your team to share personal and professional achievements, celebrations, or milestones, this question fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual appreciation within the team. Moreover, acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments, no matter how small, reinforces morale, motivation, and overall team cohesion.
  2. “What are the top 3 things you’re working on today?”. This foundational question serves as the cornerstone of daily huddles, providing team members with an opportunity to share their key priorities and tasks for the day. By discussing their top three objectives, team members gain visibility into each other’s workload, facilitating collaboration and coordination.
  3. “Do you have any hurdles or obstacles that are preventing you from completing tasks?”. In the event that a team member encounters challenges or obstacles during their workday, this question allows for immediate identification and resolution of issues. By addressing obstacles (referred to as ‘stucks’) in real-time, the team can leverage collective expertise and resources to overcome obstacles efficiently.
  4. “Please share a metric update”. This straightforward question serves as a vital component of data-driven decision-making within the team. By providing regular updates on metrics, your team gains valuable insights into the progress and performance of ongoing projects or initiatives. Additionally, sharing metric updates fosters transparency and accountability, encouraging individuals to take ownership of their responsibilities and contribute to overall success.
Download a free Daily Huddle Agenda and get started today.

4. 3 tips to guarantee a successful daily huddle

1. Pick an odd starting time:

Choosing an odd starting time such as 8:18 AM, rather than a traditional round number like 8:00 AM or 8:15 AM, can help promote punctuality among your team. By selecting a precise starting time, it signals to the team the importance of being on time and respecting everyone’s schedules. This small adjustment can encourage greater accountability and discipline regarding attendance.

You can set up the huddle at the same time each day for a simple purpose. Several companies organise huddle sessions for morning workers. This timing encourages all to set out a clear plan and ensures that all pending problems can be resolved immediately. Try and find the time that best suits your team. For instance, an 11:05am huddle may be more suitable for individuals who have to drop off and pick up their children from school, rather than an 8:18am huddle.

2. Allocate a scribe

Assigning a scribe to document key points and action items during the huddle is essential for maintaining clarity and accountability. The scribe’s role is to capture any ‘stucks’, opportunities, and actions discussed during the meeting. By documenting these details in real-time, the scribe ensures that important information is accurately recorded and shared with the team. This documentation serves as a valuable reference for follow-up discussions, tracking progress on action items, and holding the team accountable for their commitments. Additionally, having a designated scribe allows other your team to focus on active participation in the daily huddle without the distraction of taking notes.

3. Make sure the team is prepared

Preparation is key to maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of the huddle. The team should come to the meeting ready to answer the agenda questions, which typically include updates on their top priorities for the day, any obstacles they’re facing, and relevant metric updates. Encouraging the team to prepare in advance ensures that discussions remain focused and productive, minimising the risk of unproductive conversations during the huddle. Many companies fail to successfully implement daily huddles because teams don’t attend prepared. As a team leader, it’s important to attend prepared and set the example for each team member.

How to run a successful daily huddle

5. Frequently asked questions about daily huddles:

Q: Who should I include in a daily huddle?

A: Who you should include in a huddle generally varies due to company size. Smaller companies with less than 10 people tend to include everyone in a regular team huddle. On the other hand, larger companies tend to break huddle groups into project-based teams. In the example of a construction company, the marketing, planning and design teams may each run their own separate huddles. Remember, huddles should run no more than 15 minutes. If it is taking longer than 15 minutes to address each agenda item with every team member, your huddle group may be too large.

Q: Do I have to stick to the huddle agenda?

A: You have just 15 minutes. Use a huddle agenda (find above) and stick to that plan. Because it is all about creating rhythm, it is important for everybody to follow the same pattern every time.

Q: Do daily huddles waste time?

A: No. A daily huddle can in fact save your company time. They’re not just regular meetings, they’re a communication system which ensures information moves efficiently within an organisation at a smooth speed. It helps to create productive organisations and resolve issues faster.

Q: Does someone need to run the daily huddle?

A: Yes. A daily huddle meeting operates most effectively when led by a facilitator. This can be a team leader. Their role is to guide the meeting by asking the planned questions, making sure everyone stays on track, and taking action items. Having someone to run the huddle helps keep it quick and useful for everyone.

Q: What do I do if the meeting runs off topic?

A: This is where the role of the huddle facilitator comes into play. It is the facilitator’s responsibility to ensure the team remains focused and on track. If a member begins to stray from the relevant topic, the facilitator should gently guide the discussion back on course. By tactfully redirecting the conversation, the facilitator helps maintain productivity and ensures that the team completed the huddle in a more timely manner.

Q: Can I have multiple huddles a day?

A: Certainly. There are many cases where only one daily huddle isn’t enough. Here are some examples:

  • In teams managing significant projects or working towards tight deadlines, conducting morning and afternoon huddles allows the entire team to promptly address any challenges hindering progress.

  • CEOs often schedule daily huddles with their Executive Leadership Team and once more with other team members such as an operational teams to ensure alignment and address any urgent issues.

Q: Can I hold virtual daily huddles?

A: Many organisational are now used to running daily huddles via conference call. Virtual huddles work well, so long as individuals aren’t getting distracted by emails or work tasks appearing on their laptop.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered above? Reach out to us at admin@performance7.global and our friendly team can help you.

Happy Huddling!

Huddles are an important meeting rhythm which every organisation should get right on their Scaling Up journey. We hope you found this article helpful and are ready to run happy huddles!

Need Help?

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered above, or do you need help establishing your meeting rhythms? Our team of experts can assist you in creating efficient and productive meeting rhythms. Feel free to contact us at admin@performance7.global.