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Kristen McGillJanuary 13, 20224 min read

ZZ Culture: Daily Scrum

avatar Kristen McGill

We’ve all heard the chatter about how the pandemic has changed the face of work as we know it. Whether working fully remotely, in a hybrid model, or still in person, the challenges of the pandemic have disrupted the way teams work and communicate. The longer companies operate remotely or in a hybrid model, the easier it is for teams to start to feel out of touch with one another and for communication to break down. This can strain a company’s culture and lead to a disconnect between strategy and execution. That is unless they adapt and learn to communicate more efficiently and effectively. 


 A Daily Meeting Is A Critical Habit For Success

Effective communication requires both speed AND consistency. 

At 9:00 am every morning, all ZayZooners regardless of their time zone, join a video call for a quick meeting we call Daily Scrum. It’s our one chance each day to see and talk to one another regardless of whether we would otherwise work closely with each other or not. A Daily Scrum is one of the most potent tools for effective communication you can have.

What is a Daily Scrum?

Although this meeting goes by many different names (daily stand-up, daily huddle), one thing that is key is to keep it short! The entire meeting should be 15 minutes or less. Our goal is to make sure that all team members company-wide, know what is going on, and everyone is aligned on what needs to be done.

A Quick Guide to Daily Scrum

At ZayZoon, the agenda for our Daily Scrum is simple, it is 15-minutes (at most remember!) and includes the following:

  1. Announcements
    Anyone can make an announcement! This is the time to share any recent wins or good news that others on the team may not know about. This is also when any news that is relevant to the group should be shared. To ensure everyone has enough context we focus on, “Tell me what is up, then tell me why I care.” Sharing the “why” behind an announcement is as important as the news itself.
  2. KPI (Key Performance Indicator) Review
    We focus on 3-5 key metrics we want the team to understand and report daily whether they are red, yellow, or green. Red means we are at risk of missing that target, yellow means we are falling behind, and green means we are on track! Everyone should feel they always have a sense of the general health of the company and how it is performing. More importantly, falling below green should immediately spark conversation about who is doing what to get performance back on track.
  3. Team Update
    If someone ran into us at the water cooler and asked what’s going on with your team, what would we tell them? This is what helps replace the organic collisions that used to occur when we were all working together in a shared space. Based on a rotating schedule, each functional team will provide an update (roughly every two weeks based on the number of teams in our rotation). They’ll share:
    - What they worked on last week and what they’re working on this week
    - What they’re stuck on
    - Any positions they are hiring
  4. Core Value Shout-outs
    Bring your Core Values to life. When we express our appreciation for one another, we tie it back to how it demonstrates one of our Core Values. This is what solidifies to your team what it looks like to live by those shared values and makes them more than just words on a poster.
  5. Stucks
    These are problems or constraints that require immediate attention. While the person sharing may think they know who they need help from, sharing the issue in this forum can often trigger additional members of the team to recognize they also need to step up. This ensures all the help they need will be rallied ASAP. Even if team members do not think there’s anyone that can help them with a “stuck” they should still share it! They might not realize when someone can help or at least pitch in on working towards a solution. 

In Conclusion

The power of the Daily Scrum is that it does much of the work of unifying a company, whether its people work in-person, remotely, or under a hybrid model, and all in the same city or spanning the globe. In a company, there is no other forum where you have one time and one “place" where everyone is available to hear one message. From a speed and consistency standpoint, it is unbeatable. When done correctly, it should save you time by providing one consistent place for sharing information company-wide quickly, and more importantly a place to flag down help immediately if someone is stuck. 


It’s worked for us and we think it can work for you!