CI 101

What do you discuss during a huddle meeting? Tips for effective stand-up meetings.

Huddle meetings have the potential to be the most effective daily meeting you can have.  A properly conducted meeting is focused, full of energy, and accomplish its purpose of providing information, alignment, and motivation to the team.

To achieve the meeting objectives, follow these tips.

  • Respect everybody’s time by doing the meeting on their designated days and times without fail and held to strict time limits.  Do not wait for anyone.
  • Keep the focus, if a particular item is taking too much time, propose a different day and time to discuss it with the appropriate people.  If it is only a two people discussion, suggest finishing it after the meeting.
  • Go around the room, everybody talks and share their priorities within a one to two minutes time limit.
  • Do not allow mobile phone use or any other electronics during the meeting.
  • Use a dedicated room, with its equipment.
  • Keep the energy by having stand-up meetings, this encourage people to get to the point.
  • Choose the best time for the team.  It is common to have the meeting at the beginning of the shift, but right before lunch is an alternative that gives time to complete urgent tasks before.

Continuous improvement is a daily activity focused on quality, cost, and delivery, three elements that are essential to achieve the goal of delivering value to the customer when they need it, with the best quality at the lowest cost.  Following that idea, huddle meetings focused on the same three things, plus safety, which is another way to show respect to our team members.  Like I indicated before, you can customize the meeting to your business needs, but the following are ideas of items that you can include.

  1. What we did well yesterday?  Did we have a wow moment?  Let’s celebrate!
  2. What we could have done better?  Share the situation, reflect on the experience and learnings.  
  3. Top three metrics whose goal was not achieved the previous day.
  4. Announcements like visitors, events, audits, training, or new team members.
  5. Team members updates – something they have to celebrate (even if it is personal), what did they learn the previous day, improvement opportunities, what help they need, their priorities for the day.
  6. Recognition, take time to recognize the good, celebrate collaboration, business milestones, training, and projects completions, and team member birthdays!

It is important to keep the meetings short and dynamic.  This gathering is to strengthen teamwork and collaboration and promote attitudes and actions aligned with the company values.  For that reason, it is critical to stop immediately anything that smells like finger-pointing, blaming, or disrespect. Happy huddle meeting!