Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Daily Huddle

In my 360 feedback 8 months ago the biggest area for development that came out of my feedback was that I needed to improve communication across the business. In the 3 months prior to the feedback process we'd doubled in size from roughly 12 people to 25 following our Series A funding round. With 12 people it was easy to overhear conversations in the office or catch up around the lunch table, but this process fell apart and stopped working once we doubled the number of people. Based on the feedback I spent some time researching how communication worked in other businesses and we settled on a 'Daily Huddle' process which has been working extremely well.

Our daily huddle is a short, sharp 7 minute meeting designed to get everyone up to date on what’s happening in the business and identify any roadblocks people are facing in their roles.

There are different formats that can be used depending on team size but the process we use is as follows.

At 9:15am music starts to let people know the huddle will start in exactly 2mins at 9:17am. We use the 9:17 start time to highlight to everyone that it's important to be on time, no running a couple of minutes late like meetings often do.

At 9:17 our 3 core teams based in Sydney (Operations, Marketing and Tech) gather around for their team huddle. Each person takes 15 seconds to share how they went against the key thing they said they'd achieve yesterday, and what their single most important thing is that they're planning to achieve today. The idea is that the single most important thing is something measurable that can be reported back on the following day.

4 minutes later the music starts playing again and the 3 teams convene in one large circle for the full team huddle. Here there are 4 agenda items:

1. Good News
Anyone can share a good news story for the previous day. This part of the huddle is designed to be uplifting, positive, make people happy and be a general update on good things happening across the business. Ideally it's high energy with cheering and clapping.

2. Numbers
Next up we share the key metrics for the previous day with the team. For us that's daily sales and traffic to our website.

3. What's Happening
A representative from each of our 3 teams gives an overview of the 2-3 most important things for the rest of the business to know that is happening in their team that day.

4. Challenges
Anyone can share/discuss a challenge they’re facing or an area they’re stuck. This is designed to help people verbalise their fears/concerns/problems. It also acts as an update. The idea is not to brainstorm a solution to the problem as a group, instead people can say, ‘come and speak to me, I can help with that’ then they catch up after the huddle.

Here's a video of our daily huddle in action:

Here's a slightly more professionally done video of the daily huddle in action from the Canadian business 1800GotJunk:

Thanks in particular to Cameron Herold and Dan Joyce who helped inspire and develop the daily huddle concept for us.


  1. Nice work mate, we've been doing it for years in software.

    But remember in Huddles(or Standups) you should always be standing up.

  2. Brilliant post! What a really nice way to engage teams.