Five ways my team avoids email – Daily Check-in

In general, I don’t find email to be the most effective tool in highly collaborative environments.  This is the first in a series of posts on how I lead my team in avoiding email.

1. The daily check-in

Since my team is spread across four timezones it can be challenging to all meet together.  Each day at a pre-determined time we have a “virtual stand-up meeting” on Skype.

  • The meeting lasts no more than 10 minutes
  • Each person covers three questions
    • What did you do yesterday?
    • What are you planning to do today?
    • Are there any barriers in executing your projects?
  • We briefly discuss any thing that has come up
  • Relevant parties can schedule other meetings if something has arisen that warrants it

Why I like this?

  • I don’t need to send emails to get people’s attention.  I know I will ‘see’ them each day.
  • There’s a high degree of accountability built into frequent reporting.  (People are more likely to follow through, since they might get asked about it the next day).
  • It allows a convenient way to identify issues and barriers before they become crisis points.
  • My team is fun and I like being able to spend a few minutes each day with them even though we are physically separated.
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