How to Be Well Prepared for That Morning Standup

Volume 87 - three minute read

May 25th, 2018

Since joining MetaLab a few months ago, I’ve had to transition back into daily stand-ups after not having them since I worked at Satchel last year. While stand-ups are incredibly useful in a work setting, it definitely takes some preparation and getting used to or can lead to miscommunication or even be action-less at the end.

Here are some tips I’ve implemented for myself that you may find useful for your own standup preparation:

Write down tasks you complete throughout the day

At first I thought I could remember off the top of my head everything that I did the day before but I was completely wrong. Some days I would forget a few tasks that were completed and would jeopardize deadlines or personal task lists.

Instead, I now keep a notebook next to me throughout the day at my desk and I write down each tasks I finish that day no matter how big or how small the task is. Then the next day I have an accurate list ready to go and talk through with my team.

Write down specific blockers you had during the day

Sometimes I’ll have some software issues during the day (cough InVision cough) that can put an hour or so dent into my workday. Or sometimes I’ll be waiting for another task to be completed by another team member before I can proceed. Addressing these blockers in stand-ups is crucial to be transparent with your team and your team may have advice on how to better approach these blockers next time you face them.

Leave stand-ups with clear action items

Ever leave a stand-up and need to think for a second about what actually needs to get done? No, just me? All joking aside, this is an obvious but important one. Make sure you have a clear picture of the goals for your tasks that day and what needs to get done for that day. It helps!

Ask for prioritization of tasks for that day

A genuine mistake I used to make was not asking for prioritization of tasks. Some tasks needed to be done before others for client presentations or calls so it was important to put those first.

Not asking for priority level on tasks can lead to interference with the schedule and tasks of others which you definitely don’t want to be the cause of. Prioritizing your tasks for the day also allows for some leeway if not every task gets done because you got the most important ones out of the way at least.

Dennis Cortés
Product Designer at MetaLab. I also code, illustrate, write weekly articles, and produce music. Hispanic. Pokémon Master.
www.cortes.us