What is a standup?
Within the software development world, teams that use agile/scrum methodology conduct check-ins for their development team. It’s typically time-boxed, and consist of the following three questions:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What are you doing today?
- Are you blocked on anything?
The purpose of a standup is to get in alignment and stay up-to-date on the team’s progress.
What’s the difference between synchronous vs. asynchronous standups
Synchronous essentially means in sequence; and asynchronous means in a non-ordered sequence.
Synchronous standups are the more common form of standups, and what most people typically mean when they say standup.
At a specific time of the day, the project team will gather together either face-to-face or a combination of in-person and video-conferencing (for people working remotely) and each person will go through and answer the three questions mentioned above.
In the context of standups, asynchronous take place over a set period of time (usually) but is not necessarily done one right after the other. That means that people can answer their prompts at their own pace, as well as read others’ status reports whenever they please.
What are the benefits of using Polly for asynchronous standups compared to other solutions?
While face-to-face synchronous standups are great for daily human interaction and cultivating culture, the benefits of conducting asynchronous standups often far outweigh the cons – such as convenience, time savings, more focus, better knowledge sharing, archivable system of record – especially for remote teams.
If you were to google search Standup Tools in Google Search, you’ll find that there’s already dozens if not hundreds of applications out there that provide a solution for asynchronous standups. The more common method is on a work collaboration platform, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Polly’s wide applicability and flexibility empowers anyone to go above and beyond just simple polls in Slack. We think of standups as the starting point of to creating robust, feedback workflows around your daily processes so you build out a holistic set of solutions that enable better team productivity and engagement.
The point is, we don't do just standups – you can set up Polly to capture team sentiment, run sprint retros, collaborate on project estimation, or any other ad-hoc needs.
Who can use Polly Standups?
The basic version of standups is free to use for all teams smaller than 10. If your standups include more than 10 people, or you want to use automatic reminders, then you’ll need to be on any of the paid Polly plans. Learn more about what each plan includes here.
Creating your first Polly Standup
Getting started with asynchronous standups in Slack with Polly is super simple – we’ll walk you through each step to get it set up and running.
First, you’ll want to log into your Polly web dashboard. On the left-hand side menu, you should see a shiny new button that says New! Slack Standups.
Clicking on that will automatically pre-populate the authoring form with our Standup template. It even auto-tags with a Standup tag so you can easily filter out all your other surveys and have easy access to your standup results.
Configuring the standup template
Once you hit the standup button, you’ll see that the template has already been entirely filled out. The only part that you absolutely need to configure before sending, is specifying the survey audience. We recommend sending it to a dedicated team or project channel, such as #project-admin-dashboard.
Other than that, you can set the standup template to fit your needs. Whether that means changing the question wording, the frequency of the standup, or the automated reminder set up.
The default close date is after one day, with a reminder after 1 hour. That way, you can get responses back in an efficient manner, while being mindful of your distributed team.
In the survey template setting, we have it set to automatically post results after the survey closes, while making results accessible to the team before it closes.
This way, everyone will get notified of the results once it has been completed, but anyone with a need to know can check on the status beforehand.
Participating in the Standup
As a participant, it’s super simple and straightforward to go through the daily standup.
Just hit Start Survey, and a focused window will open up with all of the question prompts in view for you to answer.
Once you hit submit, you’re all done! If you happen to make a mistake and need to go back and edit your responses, you can certainly do that as well.
Viewing Standup Results
To view your results, you can do it from a few different entry points.
- Right after you’ve completed the survey, either from the same window, or the message description in channel or in your DMs
- If you’re the author, using the command /polly results
- If you’re the author, viewing the results from the web app here: https://app.polly.ai/dashboard
- Automatically in-channel, if survey is set to post after close (default for standup)