- What is a Huddle Board?
- What should be on a huddle board?
- What is a virtual huddle board?
- Why is your daily team huddle important?
- 5 reasons why your Team needs Daily Huddles
- How do you set up the huddle board for your daily standups?
- How do you structure your daily standup?
- What levels of an Organisation should Huddle?
- 7 Tips for running better Daily Huddles
- How to use your huddle boards to make the most of your daily standups?
- Can the Huddle boards bring in a higher ROI?
What is a Huddle Board?
A huddle board, a visual management tool, is part of the daily management system that helps the team to visualise the tasks required to be completed for a project or manufacturing or business process on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Helping organisations to visualise their priorities for a particular stage in the project helps to focus on the potential areas of improvement. A daily huddle ensures everyone is on the same page and the tasks start off subsequently. The task status is tracked from the outset to the completion through the various stages of change, visually represented from one column to the next in the huddle board.
What should be on a huddle board?
A daily huddle meeting is an everyday check for the team, and the huddle boards form the record of where the team is each day. The sections in the huddle board guide you through the discussion.Though it should be customised according to the needs of the team, each huddle board template should have the following four sections:
- KPIs - The metrics for measuring project progress are included here. The goals and their advancements are tracked.
- Strategic Priorities - Mark the strategic priorities in your daily huddle board to have visibility for them every day
- Weekly Focus - The long-term strategic priorities should also have corresponding smaller weekly focuses. The weekly priorities, accomplishments and problems faced are tracked here.
- Team Capacity - Huddle boards also allow the team to share where they are at, their capacity to complete the task and how the work is progressing
What is a virtual huddle board?
Traditional huddle boards used to be physical whiteboards around which the team would gather. These whiteboard data stayed only as long as they weren't erased, so there was no scope for tracking the progress of the goals. Digital huddle boards could do away with these limitations. Huddle board softwares allow you to check your team, whatever location they might be,track the data and share it with the stakeholders who need to see it.
Virtual Huddle boards form an effective visual management technique for daily stand-up meetings.
- Accessibility from anywhere - The digital huddle boards help keep the remote workers engaged in the continuous improvement process and ensure that everyone has the same access to the information, and the collaboration between the team is no longer challenging.
- Interaction with multiple boards - For leaders who need to interact with more than one team, digital huddle boards are the best. The engagement and activity of every team can be monitored without moving from one place to another. Everyone has access to all the information needed in a single platform.
- Record of the improvement works - Physical boards limit the information to what is happening then. But the digital boards can get you the past improvement works, and you can move the board into the repository once it is to be archived. You can go back in time and check the information about each project, and they can also be available for future reviews.
- Easy Cross-functional collaborations - The improvement work is not the job of a single team alone and will require the involvement of more groups. Huddle softwares can make working across functional boundaries easier and helps to create an improvement culture across the organisation.
- Alignment of the strategies and the goals - The improvement work doesn't stand alone and should be tied to the organisation's overall strategic goals and objectives. The team working towards the "True North" in the organisation can use these digital huddle boards to achieve this alignment by cascading these goals from the top level to each team member. Each day, these objectives become a part of their daily huddles.
- Realtime Notifications - Rather than being passive information holders, digital huddle boards involve many extra features, like alerting people with email notifications when required. The managers from these real-time notifications know when the deadlines are missed and the new opportunities for improvement have been submitted. These little reminders can work wonders.
Why is your daily team huddle important?
A daily team huddle is a place where you can have a quick overview of your team's work for the previous day and set them up for the day or the week. Though brief, it includes the team members and leaders, where they can align the intentions and allow them to assess the progress.Depending on the organisation's strategic goals, the team huddle frequency varies.
5 reasons why your Team needs Daily Huddles
- Connects work to the True North Metrics - A daily huddle can connect the work of the team to the True North metrics and the goals of the system. Huddle boards can be your single site for reviewing the area metrics to understand how the team is working on meeting their targets.
- An outlet to raise concerns - Through the daily stand-ups, the team provides a consistent outlet for the staff to raise their problems and concerns. A problem going unnoticed or not fixed correctly can be like rubbing salt into the wound. Huddles form a safe place for raising issues and ensuring that the process is followed in the right way.
- Prioritisation for problem-solving - A daily huddle can enable your team to hierarchise your problem-solving efforts and forms the platform for prioritising the improvement ideas.
- Teams celebrate together - Huddles form the place to celebrate the wins together, which can impact the True North metrics. This way, the team gets more engaged and reinforces that their actions impact the process.
- Coaching Opportunity -Your daily standups can be the correct place to coach your staff on problem-solving and the PDCA approach.
How do you set up the huddle board for your daily standups?
Following these methods can help you create your own huddle boards.
Check for the following sections and arrange the board accordingly.
Set the standards of your meeting with the meeting name and objective. Add your participants, the agenda of the meeting, and who is responsible for each item. You can also assign new action items for the team members here and set the status of it.
- Communication Board
Create your communication board with the following:
- Metrics - You can take a quick look at the metrics, the incidents happening in them, and their potential impacts.
- Service Excellence - Have a column for service excellence to reward employees making an extra effort beyond their normal duties.
- Improvement Opportunities - Brainstorm the ideas and discuss the issues that need improvement.
- Action Plans - Create a list of action plans for the list of issues and improvement opportunities.
- Process Changes -Communicate the process change, if any, which can impact the larger quantity of the people involved in the team.
- 5 S audits -Looking here can answer how your 5 S metrics are progressing.
- Standard Work Audits -Auditing the steps that are carried out to execute the processes most effectively.
- Cross Training - Go into the details of the plan around cross-training in your organisation. Find out who is cross-trained within your team and on what.
- Key Performance Indicators - Mark the KPIs that are relevant to the team in your dashboards. A Run Chart showing the performance over time follows these KPIs, and action plans are created accordingly to improve the performance.
Communicate to your department stakeholders how you are going to implement and improve the processes.
Conduct an assessment and search for the right place in your department to have the huddle board.
Socialise the concept of these huddle boards and communicate it with the team and the leaders.
Start with a mock board, train your leaders and then practise.
Fix the frequency and the go-live time and periodically tweak it according to the requirements.
Update your metrics as the solid performance gets hardwired.
How do you structure your daily standup?
Make the most of your daily huddles by structuring them efficiently.
- Check-in (2 Mins) -Check in on how everyone is doing. Throwing a team-building question can help you boost engagement.
- Focus areas(3 mins) -Review your focus areas for the day. Being a quick review, share only the key activities, meetings and decisions.
- Metrics and the Wins(5 mins) -Track your metrics and wins that need to be celebrated. Be ahead of your meeting so that you needn't pull up your metrics tracker every time or confuse your people on what to share.
- Problem-Solving (5 mins) - Identify where you are stuck and what issues they should be aware of. Encourage honest sharing of your team and put forth your project blockers.
What levels of an Organisation should Huddle?
Create a company-wide huddle rhythm and fix the frequencies of the huddles so that the people know and can communicate what needs to be prepared and expected.
- Department or the Workgroup Huddle - These huddles at the department level are necessary to keep the work on track; hence, they are conducted daily and usually take 7- 15 mins.The focus here is on the day's activities, updates for the department and how they can positively impact the team.
- Management Huddle - This management pre-huddle is conducted weekly before the main huddle, and it reviews the workgroup performance and develops opinions from the performance of the operations. The communication continues throughout the company and usually happens weekly for 15-30 mins.
- Main Huddle - All senior, middle and frontline managers come together to collaboratively learn and address the significant issues. It is also conducted weekly with a duration of 30-60 minutes.
7 Tips for running better Daily Huddles
- Don't go for every tiny detail. Try creating a daily huddle rhythm and a shared focus on your team.
- Daily standups work best at the beginning of the day, so try aligning them at the beginning.
- Use your agenda. You have got only 15 minutes and hence stick to your plan. Follow the same format every time so that your people know what to expect.
- Avoid setting up individual huddles for each internal project. Multiple huddles can end you up attending back-to-back meetings the whole morning.
- Be on time. Starting and ending your huddle on time will train the attendees to keep things moving quickly.
- Have a high degree of engagement and collaboration. Make sure you build a space to celebrate the successes.
- Run your huddle regularly. Tracking on a regular basis can help you spot the issues early and identify the blockers as they come up.
How to use your huddle boards to make the most of your daily standups?
Take advantage of your Huddle boards for your quick standup meetings. Your huddle board runs through these four key ingredients, making it more effective.
- KPIs - Define your KPIs or metrics to be measured in the huddle boards and set goals for them. Have a chart on the huddle board to track the progress over time, whether your metrics are growing up or down or just remaining flat.
- Root Cause - Your root cause explains why you missed the goal of the metrics mentioned above. Over time, you will be able to recognise the primary root causes that are affecting your ability to hit the metrics.
- Action Plans - Get ideas from your employees, analyse the root causes and organise them into action plans. Split your ideas into To Do, Doing and Done. Your root cause analysis can help you identify the problems that keep you lagging and develop solutions that can be put forth as action plans in your To Do list. Move the status of all the action plans from your To Do list to Doing and Done. Your Done status side will have the list of the projects completed, your Kaizen events and your team's little quick wins.
- Reward and Celebrate the success - Let your people know how much you appreciate their efforts to improve their process. Put them every day and let the team see them.
In short, track the metrics on how well they are performing, and if they are not giving the desired results, what are the root causes affecting them. Put in the effort to create action plans, encourage your people to do so, and then recognise them for what they have done. This process fuels the team. You can add as many items to the huddle boards as per your requirements, but this is how you can read your huddle boards and move forward with them effectively.
Can the Huddle boards bring in a higher ROI?
Explore the ways Huddle boards can boost the ROI (Return on Investment) by improving organisational communication, collaboration, and productivity.
- Fewer meetings - A 15 minute daily huddle can save you from dragging yourself into extra meetings every time. Scheduling a daily standup every day can keep the team informed of the assigned tasks, individual and team progress and identify the challenges. Every minute that you spend inefficiently is a minute lost for doing a constructive task.
- Increased transparency - By providing complete visibility of the process, Huddle boards ensure the team shares the same page. This transparency makes the identification of the roadblocks impacting progress quick. Minimum miscommunication- Maximum Productivity, fewer delays and a Higher ROI
- Improved accountability - Huddle boards let your people take ownership of their work and hold them accountable for the results. A strong sense of teamwork and responsibility for the success of the process leads you to an increased ROI.
- Better collaboration - Fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation can help your team work together effectively by leveraging each other's strengths and skills to achieve better results with a positive Return on Investment.
- Faster Problem Solving - Huddle boards can let you identify and resolve problems with an immediate effect. Faster problem solving can help you increase your productivity with better returns.
Whether it is minimising the queue time, reducing the blocked duration, calculating the impact or alerting the people with realtime notifications, the huddle boards let you enhance the operational efficiency and give you better returns.