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Daily Standups in Slack

How to Run Daily Standups in Slack: Tips to Get You Started

Posted by Luke Thomas
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Are you one of the 12+ million people who use Slack on a daily basis? If you’re like me, you find that Slack is a great way to communicate back and forth with others, especially as a remote team.

With that being said, it can be tough at times to understand what people are working on, especially as a team leader. You want to make sure that the team is aligned, but you also don’t want to hold a meeting (that’s probably inconvenient as the team is located in several time-zones) or act like a micro-manager.

If this rings true, it sounds like you should incorporate daily standups into your work routine.

Get the daily standup template and run more efficient standups in Friday. For free.

What is a daily standup?

A standup is when people answer the following questions on a daily basis:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you working on today?
  3. Any blockers?

Traditionally, these are in-person meetings, but as a remote team, this is impossible to do. We recommend doing this asynchronously, it’s way better for those on a maker's schedule. We also have written about why we dislike real-time standups in a bit more detail.

We also wrote a complete guide to how daily standup meetings work.

How do daily standups work in Slack?

There’s a variety of ways to hold Slack standup meetings, but it all depends on the following factors:

  • Do you want to keep track of these daily standup notes over time?
  • Do you want built-in reminders for your team members?
  • Do you want to deliver the notification in the team member's timezone?
  • Do you need reports to share with other stakeholders?

Now that these considerations are out of the way, let’s dive into how to actually set this up.

Easiest and most brittle: Set up a Slack Reminder

The easiest way to get started with a Slack standup is to set up a reminder. You can see exactly how this works in this article.

For example, use the command /remind in the @devs Slack channel every weekday at 9am to answer the following questions:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What are you doing today?
  • Any blockers?

While this reminder is easy to setup (and free), it is brittle and inflexible for a regular daily scrum. For example, there’s no way to deliver the notification in the user’s timezone. The results are technically stored in the channel, but there’s no reporting options. In addition, if you lead a team, it can be tough to see someone’s contributions over time (responses don’t roll up to an employee profile).

Alternative: Install a Slack bot or Slack App

If you want something a bit more sophisticated, check out the various Slack apps offered that help you run a standup meeting. Most of these apps are similar in that they offer the ability to customize questions, automate reminders, and automatically generate standup reports.

The downside to this approach for Slack standup meetings is that these apps aren’t free. Pricing typically runs about $3/mo per person. Some of these apps allow you to customize who is part of the team, while others will be automatically calculated based on your Slack team size.

P.S - Friday offers a free way to run daily standups in Slack. You can see how this works in the video below:

Unlike other Slack apps, Friday allows you to completely customize any regular communication at work through our workflow builder. It's simple to make asynchronous standups in Friday. This means you can use Friday for daily standups, but also for any other regular communication (check-ins,sprint retrospectives, etc)

What a Daily Standup in Friday & Slack Looks Like

To use the daily standup workflow, you will need to configure a workflow in Friday. You can select a template, which pre-populates many available options.

Additionally, we'll automatically create a report that you can share with other stakeholders who are unable to attend the meeting.

If you set up the Slack integration, you will be able to administer the daily standup directly in Slack. We will prompt members of your team at the time you designate when configuring the workflow.

Also, you can setup reminders to make sure people remember to fill out the update.

After someone completes a standup, the results are pushed into a channel of your choosing. You can pick whatever channel makes the most sense.

We recommend creating a #daily_standup channel in Slack where these results are pushed.

If you are using a private channel, please make sure to invite the Friday bot first (to make sure results can be posted).

Rollups on Employee Profile and Feed

Unlike other standup tools on the market, all daily standup results roll up to an employee profile and can be referenced over time in a feed as well (along with other workflows you create).

Why?

It’s very simple. Daily standups are a meaningful source of information that provides helpful context about someone’s work experience. We believe it’s important to showcase the contributions of people on the team. Good work shouldn’t go unnoticed. 

What to say when rolling out a daily standup in Slack

In either scenario, you’ll need to give your team a bit of advance notice to make sure you get buy-in. If you setup a meeting cadence and the team doesn’t know, utilization will be low.

We recommend the following template:

"Hey all,

As a distributed team it can be tough to understand what everyone is working on. That's why we've decided to start running daily standups.

What's a standup? It's super simple (and it's not a meeting). You answer three quick questions:

What did you do yesterday?

What are you working on today?

Any blockers?

You can read a bit more about how this works in this article. We'll start by sending a reminder every workday at [insert time here] in [insert slack channel].

Please make sure to complete this as soon as you are able. Thanks!"

Final Thoughts on Daily Stand-ups in Slack

If you lead a team, we recommend aggregating an individual's results over time and using them in 1-1 meetings and other development conversations. While the data isn't comprehensive, it can provide a great foundation for the velocity of work someone is doing. By using the Friday Slack integration, you'll be able to keep a record of the daily meeting that the entire team can participate in, or only a few select--such as your scrum team.

Friday is more useful than a do-nothing Slackbot, you can capture more information, make that information actionable, and keep your team from attending yet another meeting.

Daily Standup Resources:

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