How This One Daily Thing Helps Us Execute On Plans
Executing on Plans January 31, 2019 Kristie Holden
Is every day too chaotic? Do you worry you’re a micromanager? Are you struggling to keep track of all the changes and communication on your team? Do you find out too late someone can’t move a project forward?
One of the Rockefeller Habits that we’ve implemented and seen have a profound positive impact on how we execute, is having daily huddles for multiple teams and for each major project.
Making sure everyone is on track each day without having to dig into every detail can be a balancing act. On top of that, communicating rapid changes and decisions to your team can feel impossible. But there’s one thing you can start using to make these challenges a lot more easier to handle – daily huddles.
What Is a Daily Huddle?
A daily huddle is a 10-15 minute meeting that allows everyone to get a pulse of what’s going on. Daily huddles help you and your team remove barriers to executing, and communicate changes – all without having to take up too much of people’s valuable time.
It may sound overly simple that a 15 minute meeting every day can have such an impact, but that’s the point. Start having a daily huddle, and you’ll realize that while they may be simple, they’re powerful.
How To Lead a Daily Huddle
The daily huddle outlined in Rockefeller Habits should take 10-15 minutes max. You start by each sharing your successes or victories from the day prior, your top priority for today, and any challenges.
Victories: Starting with victories gets everyone in a positive mindset to start the meeting and reminds them of their accomplishments yesterday.
Top Priority: Asking each person what their number one priority is for today teaches them how to focus on what’s most important first. This isn’t about all the fires they need to put out, or reciting their to-do list. This is about that one thing which if not completed, would have the biggest impact on the business.
How often do you find yourself working but not knowing if you made progress? By asking “What is your top priority for today?”, you can get out of fire fighting mode and go into proactive/strategic mode. With one clear priority, you can deal with distractions much easier.
Challenges: Effective people with inevitably come across challenges. Asking each team member where they’re stuck and/or challenges they have opens opportunities to get unstuck before it becomes an issue. You can quickly identify if there’s something they’re waiting on, a sticky problem that needs to be discussed, or something they need input or help from another team member on.
Tip: Try to avoid spending too much time on a specific challenge. If it will cause your meeting to go over 15 minutes, schedule a separate meeting with only the people necessary to work through the problem. That way everyone else can continue with their day.
How we’ve tweaked daily huddles to fit our needs
After following the Rockefeller Habit agenda for daily huddles for quite some time, we’ve since made some tweaks to how we do them.
- Victories from yesterday
- What was your top priority yesterday? Did you complete it? (If not, what got in the way?)
- What’s your top priority for today?
- Is there anywhere you’re stuck or anything you need from anyone?
Instead of jumping from yesterday’s victories to today’s priority, we’ve started asking each other what our top priority was yesterday and whether or not we completed it. This has been helpful identifying a few things. For one, it helps us identify when someone is stuck but doesn’t realize it.
Asking if you completed tasks helps to identify patterns. For example, people get distracted and end up not leaving enough time to complete their top priority. They get pulled into fighting fires or end up prioritizing email and don’t leave time to complete what they deemed was their top priority.
When this happens, my suggestion is usually to have that person create an appointment on their Daylite calendar to make sure they allocate time to complete their top priority. No matter what distractions come up, that time should be dedicated to making progress on what’s most important.
The other tweak we made to the daily huddle agenda was to finish by asking each person not just if they’re stuck, but if there’s anything they need from anyone. This helps give everyone a heads up if they’ll need to allocate some time to help someone with their top priority so they can plan ahead instead of getting caught off guard in the middle of the day.
Meetings can be time wasters but if you keep your huddles short & sweet, they can help to identify problems and trends early on, keep everyone focused, and maintain a steady flow of communication between team members. We hope you find this helpful! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our tips on Mastering The Weekly Meeting.