Meeting Tips
How to Implement a Daily Team Huddle Meeting

How to Implement a Daily Team Huddle Meeting

Alyssa Towns
March 15, 2024
Updated on:

How to Implement a Daily Team Huddle Meeting
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The score is tied, and there’s less than one minute left in the fourth quarter. It’s fourth and goal, and the stakes are high. The offensive team huddles briefly around the quarterback, listening as they strategize and receive the next play. A rush of adrenaline and concentration surges through the team as they are moments away from potentially winning the game.

The quarterback communicates the details of the play—the formation, assignments for each player, and any other information that might help them succeed—and then the team breaks, and the huddle disperses. They quickly get into position and snap the ball before the play clock runs out. 

The play unfolds exactly as planned! The offensive team scores and wins the game! The crowd goes wild!

team huddles
Football team huddles up during the game. Image source: ESPN

Effective huddles in the workplace might not necessarily be as thrilling as huddles at the end of a football game seem, but the purpose is the same. Daily huddles can drive team progress and alignment, leading to team achievements and success. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What a daily huddle is in the context of the workplace
  • The benefits of running daily huddles
  • Tips for structuring huddle agendas (with templates) 
  • When to consider adding a huddle to your meeting schedules

What is a daily huddle meeting? 

So, what exactly is a daily huddle meeting? A daily huddle is a short meeting (ideally at most 15 minutes) for teams to sync on their priorities and check-in. You can run daily huddles face-to-face or virtually, making them a great tool across remote, hybrid, and in-person work environments. The Rockefeller Habits—a set of execution principles for growing businesses—includes daily huddles to establish a communication rhythm that allows information to move quickly through an organization. 

Daily huddle meetings also work well across many teams, including human resources, marketing, product, sales, and more. Additionally, managers and leaders might benefit from a quick huddle with their peers depending on the size of the company and the needs of the business. 

If you are familiar with agile methodologies, you might be familiar with daily standups. A daily huddle is similar, but teams can be more flexible with the agenda to structure it around their needs. 

5 benefits of a daily team huddle

Daily team huddles have many benefits if you execute them well and stay true to the intended structure. Here are the benefits of daily huddles:

Alignment across the team 

The most significant benefit of daily huddles is that they help build alignment across the team on a regular cadence. Alignment is necessary to enable everyone to stay on track, progress toward the same goals, and ensure team members distribute the right tasks. With alignment, teams can avoid duplicating efforts, missing significant tasks, missing critical deadlines, and working in different directions. 

Stronger relationships among team members

Team members can connect, socialize, and create a shared unity in a team huddle. Especially in fully remote environments, team members may have fewer chances to bond and get to know one another. Building in this touchpoint ensures that the team has at least one brief sync to engage with one another, driving better teamwork. 

Forum for quick team decision-making and problem-solving

During huddles, team members might raise topics that require a fast decision or a problem interrupting their workflows. A benefit of daily huddles is that teams can rapidly make decisions and solve minor issues without chasing down approvals to move forward or trying to inform everyone of the decision or solution via email or Slack. This also provides an inclusive opportunity for team members to bring their unique ideas forward when solving problems, leading to new and innovative solutions for exploration. 

Reduces unclear and vague communications

While there’s a time and place for written communication via email, Slack, and document collaboration, written communication may not always be the best approach when things are moving quickly. 

For example, suppose a manager needs to redirect the team’s attention to an urgent project. The manager sends a Slack message to the team, but it’s vague, and some team members aren’t familiar with the project. Some team members don’t see the message until later in the day. Priorities are now unclear and confusing. Daily huddles allow teams to avoid situations like this and provide clear direction. 

Space to flag blockers and risks 

Roadblocks and risks are a buzzkill on our productivity. Daily huddle meetings are the perfect space for team members to elevate blockers (like approval needed) in their way and highlight risks (like the possibility of missing a deadline) that may create spiraling issues.

Daily team huddle topics and agenda

There aren’t any hard and fast rules around how to structure your daily huddle agenda, but there are some general topic categories to consider that can help keep them short and effective. As a best practice, keep your agenda simple and consistent for the best results. 

Below are some topics you could implement as part of your daily huddle agenda, broken into three high-level categories.

Huddle kickoff

Consider kicking off the huddle with some positive news or celebrations. You could:

  • Celebrate a win: Were there any team wins yesterday worth calling out? Did a team member or group make any breakthroughs worth acknowledging? 
  • Provide important announcements or updates from leadership: Maybe there’s an exciting company announcement to share, such as achieving a revenue goal ahead of schedule or winning a workplace industry award. You may not need to include daily announcements, so plan these in a way that makes sense for you and your team.
  • Highlight birthdays and work anniversaries: Take a moment to acknowledge team members’ birthdays or work anniversaries. Instead of doing this daily, you could do it every Monday for the week ahead or Friday for the following week. 

Round robin around the room

A crucial component of daily huddles is ensuring you hear from everyone in the room and align on tasks and needs. This should be the bulk of the meeting. You could structure this section as follows: 

  • Provide an update on yesterday’s work: Ask each teammate for a quick update on the task(s) they set out to achieve yesterday. Are they on track? Are they behind schedule? Did they do what they said they would? 
  • Share top priorities or areas of focus for the day: What’s top of mind for each team member? Where do they need to focus? What’s most urgent? It’s important to avoid sharing granular details here, as sharing lengthy to-do lists is time-consuming and not necessarily valuable to everyone in the room. 
  • Discuss blockers and risks: Is anyone feeling blocked? Are there any risks the team needs to discuss briefly before dispersing? Is anyone requesting assistance to move their piece of work forward? Remember this is a place to raise blockers and risks, but additional follow-up may be necessary to address them adequately.

Break and get to work!

  • Ask if anyone has any final questions: Save space for team members to ask any questions they haven’t had the chance to or that came up during the huddle.
  • Break: Wrap up the huddle and get to work! Send the team off to work on their priorities for the day.

When is a daily huddle meeting a good idea?

There are many use cases where scheduling a daily huddle meeting is a good idea. And the even better news is that you can create an agenda for your daily huddle to meet your teams’ specific needs. 

Here are five scenarios where we’d recommend a daily huddle meeting: 

For dispersed (remote and hybrid) teams 

Hybrid and remote teams can benefit from a daily huddle meeting, regardless of their specialization area. When team members are distributed across locations and time zones but working toward the same goal, collaboration is critical (and sometimes limited). Daily huddles can bridge communication gaps and ensure team members connect during core working hours for a better experience. 

In fast-paced environments

Startups and small businesses are the right environment for daily huddle meetings because priorities and direction can change rapidly depending on the needs of the business. Since teams are smaller in these workplaces, daily huddles are a great way to keep everyone connected without needing a full-blown hour-long team meeting to align. 

Align leaders and managers 

Daily huddles help enable team alignment, but they can also create alignment among peers, such as people managers and executive leadership teams. Managers and team leaders can leverage morning huddles to connect on the progress of strategic initiatives, company priorities, and people management. 

When working on a complex project with dependencies

Project teams working on a complicated project with multiple dependencies, such as the rollout of a new software system or a multimillion-dollar construction project, will benefit from daily huddle meetings, especially when monitoring milestone deadlines and budgets. 

Leading up to a harsh deadline

Similar to complex projects, teams working toward a harsh deadline, such as an event like a large-scale conference, should also consider having daily huddles leading up to the deadline. Given the many small tasks and to-dos associated with an event, a daily huddle allows team members to connect and ensure they have covered all the necessary pieces to execute a well-planned event.

How to implement a daily team huddle

If you feel inspired to pilot a daily huddle with your team, you can conduct a successful huddle in no time. Follow these steps to implement a daily team huddle:

1. Define your why and the goals for your huddle.

Why do you want to have a daily team huddle? What do you hope to achieve in doing so? What gap(s) (if any) are you trying to close by implementing a daily huddle meeting? 

You need to be clear and specific about the huddle's purpose to have a foundation to fall back on. Once you know your purpose, you can build a huddle structure that supports it effectively. 

2. Create an agenda for the huddle.

With your purpose in mind, you can build an agenda that supports your desired outcomes. Remember, having consistent and brief agenda items is the best way to keep these meetings short and focused. 

Another critical consideration when structuring your huddle is ensuring the agenda promotes inclusivity and allows everyone to participate. 

3. Finalize the logistics.

When you outlined the purpose of your huddle, you likely thought about who you would meet with to achieve the desired outcomes. Finalize your attendee list now so you know who needs to be there and can find a time that works well for everyone.

Speaking of finding a time that works well, if you plan to meet via Zoom (or start a huddle in Slack) or in person, Clockwise can help you schedule a daily huddle at a convenient time while maximizing Focus Time and avoiding meeting conflicts. It’s also helpful for scheduling a daily huddle across various time zones and locations. 

And if a synchronous huddle isn’t your jam, remember that you can conduct daily huddles in an asynchronous manner, too. You could use a standup bot in Slack or create an Asana or Trello board for team members to add their updates by a specific time. Do what works best for your team and gather their feedback and input to ensure your huddles are successful.  

Daily huddle meeting templates

If you need help creating a meaningful agenda template for your daily huddle, start with one of the templates below and customize it as needed. Generative AI (hi, ChatGPT) is another excellent tool for creating meeting agendas.

Marketing team huddle (15 minutes)

  • Team priorities for the day (10 minutes)
    • Ask each team member to share their top 1-2 priorities for the day 
  • Inspirational or educational content share (2 minutes)
    • Manager or team lead share an inspiring piece of content or hot industry news the team needs to know about 
  • Ask questions, provide feedback, flag blockers (3 minutes)
    • Ask the team if they have any questions or need help to move things forward 
    • Discuss and address blockers preventing progress 

Development team huddle (15 minutes)

  • One quick win (1 minute) 
    • Share an accomplishment or team success from the previous day
  • Share announcements or feedback (2 minutes)
    • Provide feedback on progress thus far 
    • Share quick updates (e.g., upcoming out-of-office time that will impact the team) 
  • Focus for the day (7 minutes) 
    • Ask each team member to share their focus for the day 
  • Blockers and challenges preventing progress (5 minutes) 
    • Save time for team members to raise blockers and determine next steps 

Sales team huddle (15 minutes)

  • Deal updates (7 minutes)
    • Ask team members to provide progress updates on crucial sales opportunities and any deals they closed the day prior
  • Pipeline review (5 minutes)
    • Review the pipeline together and address any concerns or hot opportunities that the entire team should prioritize 
  • Next steps and critical action items (3 minutes)
    • Capture key action items and how the team should proceed 

Ready, set, break!

Daily huddles are a powerful way to keep teams aligned, connected, and motivated to achieve the same goals. The most effective daily huddles have solid agendas, time limits, and a clear purpose. Clockwise can help you schedule daily huddle meetings at a time that works well for all participants (even spread across time zones), minimizing the disruption to Focus Time and preserving enough time for deep work. Sign up for Clockwise and run your first daily huddle today!

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns is a freelance writer for Clockwise based in Denver, CO. She works in communications and change management. She primarily writes productivity and career-adjacent content and has bylines in G2, The Everygirl, Insider, and other publications. When she isn't writing, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, playing with her Bengal cats, adventuring outdoors, or reading a book from her TBR list.

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