Now More Than Ever, Huddle Daily as a Team

By Jon Miller Updated on March 28th, 2020

One of the challenges we face when working from home, or as part of a virtual team, is staying connected with people on the team. Today more of us than ever are in this situation for the first time due to stay-at-home orders related to the novel corona virus. In normal circumstances, many organizations practice face-to-face or virtual daily huddles in the workplace. These are structured but brief morning meetings to stay connected with fellow team members, to align on common tasks and share support on priorities.

Gemba Academy will release a comprehensive course on the Daily Management System in the near future to introduce, demonstrate and link together practices such as daily huddles, gemba walks, leader standard work and process confirmation.

In the meantime, we are making a few learning resources about daily huddles free to everyone, in the hope that these will help us stay connected with the team, focus on what’s important and give each other courage to get through these trying times.

From the Burgess Health Center, the video titled “Why Huddle?” provides an excellent hour-long case study on the what, how and why of daily huddles.

The Specialty Silicone Fabricators morning meeting video gives a quick explanation of how to combine visual controls and internet video to run a remote daily huddle.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services video shows the process of how leaders stay connected with their team through a bi-weekly check-in with their teams and their work.

I hope those of us who continue to work outside of the home and among others do so safely by maintaining distance and good hygiene practices. A good way for them to “huddle” as a team is to find well-ventilated and open space, form a wide circle maintaining 6+ feet distance from each other, for connection and support at the start of the day.

The main purpose of the typical daily huddle is to address the business, the day’s work and address any abnormalities. Times like these may require that we repurpose part of each daily huddle, or even one huddle per week, mainly for maintaining human connections. A video shared recently by Simon Sinek demonstrates how his team uses a virtual huddle mainly to stay connected socially.

If you are already practicing daily huddles face-to-face, how have social distancing and working from home required you to adapt this routine?

What other ways have you found to strengthen bonds and offer mutual support, from a distance?

  1. Mark Graban

    March 30, 2020 - 11:02 am

    Three organizations that I work with remotely are doing daily huddles and I agree it’s very helpful. A consulting firm, a health system, and a software company. Each has their own format, structure, and focus… but it works, especially when you make it your own.

    • Jon Miller

      March 30, 2020 - 11:35 am

      Thanks for your comment Mark.

    • Cindy Darnell

      March 31, 2020 - 8:53 am

      Our site has gone from daily in person SQDC meetings to daily virtual meetings using Skype. The metrics are updated in Excel and reviewed as a team. As we are all working remotely, I think the engagement at the meeting has actually improved. We aren’t physically in the building to stop by and check on a task so it is discussed during the daily meeting (as it should be anyway!). I’m hoping these habits continue and as a result strengthen our in person meetings when we get back to business as usual.

    • Jon Miller

      March 31, 2020 - 10:07 am

      Hello Cindy. Thanks for sharing your example.

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