Good communication is the most important discipline when working at a remote-first company. As we're not all in the same room, we need to constantly be transparent about our progress, plans, and problems (PPP). If not, we'll risk working in isolation and might end up working on the wrong things. This is where standups come in ✨
What is a standup at Pento?
Your standup is a written message you'll post to Slack every day before you start working. The standup has two main purposes:
Your standup is a tool to help you plan your day ahead and make sure you stay committed to working on the things that bring momentum.
Your standup is a way to communicate your progress, plans, and problems to your team in a simple and easy-to-understand way.
What does a good standup look like?
A good standup follows the simple PPP (progress, plans, problems) framework, and is short, measurable, and easy to understand. It's structured to hold yourself accountable to your most important priorities and to give your teammates an easy way to follow your progress.
Here's an example of a good standup:
Here's an example of a not-so-good standup:
A few things to keep in mind as you write your standup:
- Make your plan measurable. "Source 5 candidates for the Customer Success role" is measurable and you know exactly what you need to work on. "I'm going to do a little bit of sourcing" or "I'm going to work on a new pricing page" are not measurable, and it's hard for yourself and your team to understand exactly what you're aiming for.
- Copy/paste and follow up on yesterday's plan. Some of your colleagues might be affected by your progress (or lack thereof), so being transparent and following up on your plan is important. To make sure it's easy for your team to follow your progress, please copy/paste yesterday's goals. Today's "Yesterday" should be identical to yesterday's "Today" (🤯)
- It's okay to change your plan during the day. We can all get caught up in urgent or unplanned activities during the day, and that's okay. Having a plan helps you decide whether changing priorities make sense or not. Use your standup to keep yourself honest.
- Don't list your meetings — list the desired outcome of them (or don't list them at all)
Some of us have a lot of meetings during a week, and it can be tempting to just list the meetings in your standups. The problem is that meetings aren't contributing to momentum, and attending a meeting shouldn't be a goal. Instead, consider what the desired outcome of the meeting is, and let that be your goal. For example, "Meet with X" is a pretty easy goal to accomplish (you just need to show up), whereas "Get to a decision on Y" shows progress and your team knows what you're trying to accomplish.
- Let's all use the same emojis to avoid confusion
✅ I reached this goal / completed this task yesterday
🛑 I did not begin working on this task yesterday
🛠 I started working on this, but didn't finish (NB: remember to add a comment to explain your progress)
- What if I don't reach my goals? Is that bad?
- What if I need to take out time to plan or do research?