Bored expressions. The same three question agenda. Fifteen minutes of unproductive status reporting. Daily scrum standups are often considered burdens that are hard to avoid. However, Slack apps can change the way teams hold daily scrums. They bring in the ease of a messenger app and offer many features that make daily standups effective and fun.
How Slack Apps Improve the Daily Standup
Daily scrums often run longer than 15 minutes. Conducting this meeting for a remote team is even more difficult. First, you have to find a time that suits team members from different time zones. Work often starts only after the scrum is conducted. This adversely affects the productivity of the team.
Slack apps and integrations can solve all the problems associated with daily scrums. Slack makes it easier to run asynchronous standups. Meetings that occur at different timings offer the following benefits.
- Teams across different time zones do not have to meet at inconvenient times.
- Different teams can stay up to date with what the other teams are working on without having “scrum of scrums”.
- A written record of updates is available that can be referred to at any time.
In this blog post, we list some of the best Slack bots you can use to make your scrum meeting effective.
Tatsu, which means “to stand”, allows you to hold a meeting in a round robin manner. ‘Start’ will notify the channel that the meeting is starting and ask the first participant to answer the questions. It also allows users to skip attendees or dismiss them. Once the meeting ends, Tatsu will save the answers and send a report via email. The great thing about Tatsu is that it allows you to customize the questions so that it aligns with your team’s work. You can also have Tatsu ask any number of questions, instead of just three. Tatsu is priced at US$1 per person per month.
Geekbot is another great Slack app for asynchronous standups. Geekbot helps you conduct multiple standups. It also helps keep different departments in sync. Team members answer questions posted by the bot. Then, the answers are available on the specific Slack channel. This helps teams stay updated without shifting focus from the task at hand.
Custom questions can be set for each team. You can even set the mood of the Geekbot to casual or serious. A dedicated dashboard helps you keep track of all the standups and edit them as required. Geekbot helps you improve your decision-making process by providing transparent work status. Geekbot is priced at US$3 per participant every month.
Standuply can help you run asynchronous standup meetings via text, video, or voice call. It also allows you to record video messages with the /video command. The video is then uploaded to Youtube and the link is shared on Slack. The results of your standup meetings can also be sent to relevant stakeholders. This enables everyone to stay updated on team progress without having to attend multiple meetings.
Standuply can also integrate with apps like JIRA and bring agile charts to the team. List your favorite websites, and Standuply displays updates and news from there. You can even set up reminders to keep your team accountable. Standuply’s Slack Poll feature allows you to set one time or recurring polls. Standuply pricing plans start at US$5 for three respondents billed monthly.
Don’t just limit your scrum meetings to text updates. VoiceStandup allows you to record and share audio updates for your daily standup. A live dashboard enables teams to run online voice based meetings that will be recorded. The link to this audio recording is then posted on a specific Slack channel. VoiceStandup improves situational awareness and helps stakeholders stay updated about the team’s progress. It starts at US$20 per team billed monthly.
Discover Blockers and Build Culture with Slack Standup Apps
In traditional standups, blockers are usually solved right after the scrum. The scrum master will seek out answers and try to find solutions right away. Asynchronous standups may not tackle blockers immediately. It may require consistent follow-up to get them resolved.
Building culture through an asynchronous daily standups is difficult. Traditional meetings allow attendees to show their unique personalities and bond with their team members. It gives an opportunity for attendees to add a little humor to their scrum updates. Customize your agenda questions to add humor in asynchronous scrum meetings.
Using these Slack apps can change the way your team communicates and collaborates. Use this time to keep track of your team’s progress, resolve problems, and propel work forward.