At first glance, a team huddle seems pretty straightforward – it’s just another term for a meeting, another buzzword in an increasingly complex world. And while that’s honestly true, that doesn’t mean the huddle is anything like your meeting.
As per SandGlaz, team huddles are fast-paced, organized, to-the-point. They’re immediate refreshers, they’re intermediate pauses between project sprints, they’re meant to be part of a very effective time management system – and by extension, a highly functioning company.
A team huddle, then, is a lot of what a good meeting should be – but not everything. There are no thorough explanations. No half-hour time limits. No roundabout Q&A sessions. By better understanding the anatomy and purpose of the huddle, you can drastically change the way you and your company tackle meetings – and as a result, you can bypass all of the many issues most companies face when accounting for time lost through wasted, ineffective and wholly useless meetings.
1. Nothing But the Bare Minimum
If anything, huddle meetings should be defined by their simplicity. The rules of a good huddle meeting are:
- Have everyone relevant to the current project present.
- Stick to something everyone is involved in.
- Don’t go over old details or waste time on recaps.
- Make sure to clarify that huddle meetings are for the kind of questions team members can’t answer themselves.
It’s deceptively simple – a good huddle meeting is one that basically foregoes everything and anything that could cause bloat or kill the fast-paced flow needed to keep a meeting going and finish it in 10-15 minutes.
2. Technologically Advanced
Team huddles often fail because not everyone can be at the same place, at the same time – especially when you’re outsourcing work to other departments in different cities, countries and continents. But with huddle meeting technology developed through premium communications giants like BlueJeans, those worries are basically entirely alleviated.
Not only is high quality video a great way to get everyone in the same room at the same time, it’s also much more engaging than communicating over the phone or congregating too many people in a single conference room – a huge benefit, as per TechTarget. By giving everyone their space and camera, they feel the need to stay engaged and in the very least try their best to be a part of the meeting before it ends.
3. Timed and Quantified
Huddle meetings aren’t to be wasted, and the best way of doing that is through measuring time. While there are many things in life that shouldn’t be rushed or pressured, the meeting isn’t one of them. In a meeting, creating a sense of stress and urgency is actually encouraged – especially for team huddles.
This isn’t a moment of leisurely lounging, where you get to sit back with a muffin and some coffee and talk over a PowerPoint presentation. It’s a 10-15 minute breakdown of what you have to do, what the team’s goals are, what any pertinent questions might be, and then a break-off back to work. It’s motivating, it’s on a timer, it’s designed to keep everyone on their feet and wake them up to the importance of urgency in business.
4. Constantly Evolving
One issue with meetings is that, with or without video conferencing tools, the meeting never really evolved past its original idea. Meetings were fine once upon a time, when time was in less of a short supply. But with today’s technology and constraints – and the endless unexploited possibilities that so many traditional meetings are missing out on – the key point is that the group huddle is a function that should evolve in structure and style to match the upcoming technology and the needs of a company, instead of becoming a relic in a business world that is constantly changing to meet the demands of a growing, evolving consumer base and a new technological era.
5. Your Huddle
The last step to an effective huddle is recognizing that ultimately, it’s up to you to take the concept and further refine it into something you can all run with. No matter whether you follow the scram protocol or a different philosophy of communication, or whether you’re winging it with the purpose of coming up with a completely unique, new and separate way to do meetings – so long as you follow the general rules of the huddle, it’s meant not only to be an effective new way to tackle the ineffective daily meeting for teams with extremely high standards for communication and time management, but it’s also an entirely modular system that you can easily adapt to your purposes.
With the right attitude, a good team leader and the proper technology at your side, you’re ready to eliminate the meeting and replace it with a powerful team huddle.