A Daily Huddle Brings a Team Together

About a year ago we established a new meeting in our schedule ‘the daily huddle.’ Each day my team meets for a 5-10 minute stand up meeting we call “11:11″ because we meet at 11:11 AM. I got the idea from the book The Rockerfeller Habits by Vern Harnish

There were some specific reasons

  • get everyone together (we are usually scattered across a large campus)
  • how do our projects overlap
  • how can we help each other out
  • we are all a part of the team
  • get to know each other

I believe they have been successful, but after a year it is time to evaluate: ‘are we really getting accomplished what we set out to do?’ ” have they become routine?” “Is it just another thing to do?”

Occaisonally I meet with a mentor/friend/coach, David Jones. We bounce ideas of each other and he always challenges me to think strategically. In our latest conversation he let me know he had just established a daily huddle in his company. As with most things in David’s life, he is very intentional and so it is with the daily huddle. It was no surprise to me to learn that he has a detailed plan for this meeting which includes some key questions that help motivate his people and move his company along toward meeting their goal. Here is the plan David implemented:

Beginning January 30th we will start a Daily Huddle. The purpose of the Huddle is to enhance communication and identify (not solve) problems areas. The Huddle will be at 9:11 a.m. each day in the area outside of Heidi’s office. The Huddle will last about 20 minutes at maximum and each person will report on 5 things each day as follows:

  1. What’s Up – Any key issues impacting or potentially impacting our clients or revenues.Report on your key KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) – More on this later.
  2. Your Big Rock Status Month-To-Date (e.g. 0/3, 2/5, etc.)
  3. Where are you stuck? – Bottlenecks or problem you are dealing with?
  4. #1 Priority – What is the most important thing you need to get accomplished today?

The Huddle will be fast moving and it should only take you a very brief time to cover your items. We are trying to determine what the best KPI’s are for each person to report. It will take us a little while to figure those out so we will be tweaking our huddle process as we go. I will let each of you know what KPI’s I would like to see you report on each day, but I would like your thoughts and opinions as well. I will get with each of you to discuss the KPI’s so we can agree on what they should be and I’m sure we will modify them over time.

It’s important you put the daily huddle on your calendar and show up on time and prepared. I will have Courtney send a meeting invite.

After seeing David’s daily huddle plan I began to tweak our 11:11 meeting, keeping our goal of this meeting the same. The adjustment is the inclusion of the following questions:

  • We ask everyone: what is the most important thing you have to get accomplished today?
  • Follow-up: is there something that any of us can do to help you accomplish that most important task?
  • What events are most pressing on our calendar?
  • Follow-up: Do we need to work as a team to make sure all the logistics are covered?

I know these may seem simple but the questions generate important dialog that helps keep the team together and working as a ‘team.’

Our daily huddle has been a gold-mine for us. Is there a meeting like this in your schedule?