Before getting into standups itself, let's understand a bit about async. In simple terms, asynchronous communication is communication that does not take place in real-time. Or when you don’t need the other person to be online. Think emails. Asynchronous communication typically involves long-form writing or conversations and is the most recommended form of communication for remote teams.
If you need not respond immediately to your co-worker’s query, that's asynchronous communication. You can check out this link to get a precise understanding of the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication and its relevance to remote teams.
What has asynchronous communication got to do with standups for remote teams?
Unlike co-located teams, remote teams do not assemble at one place during standup meets. They require a basic setup/ tools to initiate the communication. This process of consistently setting up the apt mode to communicate with the team is what makes the communication asynchronous.
Let us discuss some of the common themes observed around standup meetings:
- Team members provide daily updates - Whether the team is remote or co-located, this is an activity which is common for both.
- Caring for differences in time-zones - Remote teams often face the challenge of conducting standups taking into account the different time zones of the members.
- Using File sharing/ Screen sharing functionality - For providing live demo/ updates to the team leads, it is often required to share files or screenshots or even share your screen during the standup.
- Short duration - Usually, standups are meant to be a quick run-through meet with a clear agenda.
Just as a pun, in a blog on Atlassian, standup meetings are referred as “The easiest meeting you’ll never sleep through”
Given the simple nature of standup meetings, there is a wide range of tools designed to improve your experience and provide the required features to encourage collaboration. What are these, you ask?
- Automate standups using tools such as Status Hero and GeekBot
- Share updates in the form of stories, commonly used in social media such as Instagram and Facebook. You can check out Standups for this!
- Reports and analytics derived from tools already being used by your team such as Slack, Trello and Jira.
We have carefully curated tools that can be used for standup meetings for distributed teams below :))