We have about 80 employees- 35 local and the rest distributed internationally. We ended up building Jell to help with this very problem to fix our standups. Each person posts answers to the team’s daily standup questions at the start of their respective day and it’s shared to Slack. Definitely helps everyone focus on the main things they want to get done, and avoids the annoyance of a meeting interrupting your flow. And those on later timezones can easily catch up whenever they log on.
Most teams will still do a weekly video meeting, but it gets to be a lot more productive and high-level rather than everyone going around a circle saying what they’re working on.
My team, despite being mostly local, uses a tool called iDoneThis. We have an in-person/virtual standup Monday morning to sync on work for the week and then use iDoneThis to stay in sync for the rest of the week. This is really helpful for when people are out and want to stay caught up on what everyone is working on. It also really helps look back and reflect on what you’ve worked on.
We played with iDoneThis at FreeAgent many years ago, and someone also pointed me at: StandUpMail which from the look of things is fairly similar. I can definitely see those being useful for us, so we might have another explore of those tools.
I looked at iDoneThis a few years back for a very small team I led. I loved the idea and was shocked there was no open source clone. Ended up not using it because of size, but if I ran a team that was either bigger or distributed, a similar tool would be very helpful.
The question then becomes, when do you have the face to face between team members (managers will get their one to ones, of course). The options I see are:
We have a slack room where we post what we intend to to today and we post another message when leaving with what we achieved and what issues we encountered that kind of stuff.
We’re still testing the process, it kinda works but I’m not really sure of the added value so far.
This is sorta where we are with regards to experimenting more and extending the solution above, using a shared chatroom and individuals contributing. In effect, that’s what iDoneThis and StandUpMail (referenced above) also achieve, but this way the timeshifting is obvious.
I’m trying to put together my thoughts on what’s working about that for us and what still isn’t. Like you, I wasn’t initially convinced of the benefits, I think it is a net positive. I’d like to explore why in a bit more detail.