Why the best meetings are 15 minutes long

Meetings, meetings, meetings. They drag on for hours, accomplish little, and take away from your work day. Department meetings, review meetings, weekly meetings, planning meetings, team meetings, project meetings… you are falling asleep already. There’s certainly a case to be made for reducing the number of meetings, but there’s one meeting to consider adding in.

The Daily Stand-Up Meeting

This type of meeting brings a lot of benefits in a very short amount of time. A stand-up meeting is common practice in software development – but there’s no need to limit it to one industry. These types of meetings keep everyone on a team up to date, aware of potential problems or issues they can assist with before they get out of control. These meetings can be held daily, and should last no longer than 15 minutes.

They are called ‘stand-up’ meetings, because everyone should be standing – this helps to keep the meeting short, as well as get people out of their chairs. See, there are even health benefits!

The format of a stand-up meeting is simple: everyone takes their turn to answer three questions.

  1. What did I work on yesterday (or since the last stand-up)?
  2. What am I working on today?
  3. What problems am I facing?

In short, a status update. In this way, managers are kept up to date, fellow team members are aware of what their coworkers are doing, and people are held accountable for the tasks they are doing. If people can’t complete their work due to an issue, others may be able to step in and help solve the problem (after the meeting). Being aware of issues when they come up means they are likely to be resolved sooner, rather than stagnating.

To keep these meetings focused, eliminate any side conversations, and hold off any discussion that doesn’t pertain to everyone until after the meeting is over.

For small companies, everyone can be involved in these types of meetings, but as an organization grows in size, it may be wise to keep it to department, or even project team level only – any more than 15 people and even the fastest meetings will be time consuming.

HireGround has been using stand-up meetings for many years, and we find it a perfect amount of time to connect the ‘business’ and ‘development’ side of the office, keep tasks moving forward, and help identify and solve problems.

With these 15 minute meetings, there is less time spent during the day trying to track down an answer to a question, and a greater understanding of how current projects are progressing without the need for more formal meetings.

I encourage you to give them a try!