This week I decided to test async standup meetings using Slack.

stand-up meeting is a meeting in which attendees typically participate while standing.
The discomfort of standing for long periods is intended to keep the meetings short.

In a full-remote team, asking all participants to stand in front of the computer is virtually impossible.

I have been managing 3 remote standup meetings every day for 7 years.
And I’ve always encountered the same problem:

The bigger the remote team, the lower the participants’ attention level.

Have you ever attended a remote standup meeting with more than 5 people?
I bet you only listened carefully to everyone the first few times.

I’ve been reading articles and newsletters about async standup meetings for months.
I also talked about it with friends and colleagues.
I have always heard very conflicting opinions.

Like all things, if you don’t try it in the field, you will never know what is right or wrong for you and your business.
That’s why this week I took courage and decided to test with my dev team.

Today I want to share with you how to create a simple setup over slack and the outcome of my 1st week of tests.

How to set up an async standup meeting over slack

Easier Said than Done.

  • Create new automation using the Slack Workflow Builder and call it
    “{{team}} Standup – Opening”
  • Send a message at 10:15 AM to ask all teammates to write their daily standup reports.
    Ask them to answer the below questions:

    • What did you do yesterday?
    • What will you do today?
    • What blockers stand in your way?
    • Do you need the help of one or more colleagues?

  • Now, create another automation and call it
    “{{team}} Standup – Closing”
  • Send a message at 10:45 AM to ask all teammates to confirm they posted their reports and read all colleagues’ ones
  • Note: it’s essential to ask to confirm they wrote and read each report;
    in this way, you are asking all to commit their full attention!

Below is a real example of a standup report by one of my devs this week.

Keep at least 1 day of LIVE Standup meeting each week

Don’t forget that the most complex challenge in managing a remote team is maintaining a high level of empathy among colleagues.
The remote is beautiful, the async too .. but seeing each other in the face and having a chat can never be abandoned completely.

Last week I tried to have only one live standup, but I realized it was not enough.
Starting next week, I will be doing two.

The truth is always in the middle, but only you can find the right balance.
It can work for various types of teams, mainly for those involved in operations.
I recommend you try it!

I am very happy to have tested the standup meetings in chat.
Next week I will also extend the test with the administration and logistics team.

My advice is to try alternating days in a chat with days on call.
Finding the right balance will allow you to maintain both a high level of attention and a high level of empathy.

If you want to try it or have any doubts about it, I’m waiting for your message!