Sick of the daily stand up A.K.A. check-in calls with your team? Feel like they don’t really accomplish anything? You’re in good company.
In fact, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried gave an entire interview to Inc. about why stand-ups are a waste of time.
While it’s normal for managers and teammates to want to understand where everyone is on their projects, especially now that we can’t drop by one another’s desks to check-in, Fried argues now is an opportune time for teams and organizations to be reevaluating how they work — starting with their daily practices. Maybe that means not having those check-ins face-to-face to allow for saved time and flexibility.
“A lot of check-in meetings are simply people reciting what they’re doing or what they’re about to do,” he said. He argues that pulling a group of people together to go over every person’s personal progress usually isn’t helpful, especially because updates that don’t require discussion could be written down instead.
“I’m very much in favor of check-ins that are… prompted by a system or a service but I’m not in favor of pulling people off of their work all at the same time to listen to people talk about things that could be written down instead,” he shared.
He says putting things in writing isn’t just faster, it’s also more flexible — people who can’t attend the meeting also receive updates without wasting a teammate’s time by asking for a rehash — and it allows for the inclusion of other parts of the organization.
“When its written down, it’s on the record for everybody to say and I think that’s a better way to communicate,” he shared.
He says the Basecamp product actually asks each team member at the end of their day what they worked on, allowing them to keep a log to share with their teammates and managers. Other organizations could mimic this by setting Slack reminders or having a daily document everyone is expected to update with their progress.
Now, doesn’t that sound much better than boxing yourself in with another meeting?
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.