How can Improv help your Daily Standup?

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The 15-min Daily Standup is valuable to teams because it keeps them in sync and focused.  Can you use that 15 minutes to strengthen the team bonds and even add a little fun?  How about sprinkling a little Improv into your Daily Standup?  

Using Improv in your Daily Standup will keep your team energized.  These techniques will also help the team develop empathy, which improves collaboration, which improves outcomes.  It’s easy and fun, you have nothing to lose!

Here are a few simple Improv techniques to weave into your daily standup.

  • Add a word.  Pick a word and see how many times the team can fit it into the Daily Standup.  Besides being fun, this requires the team to really listen.  It also shakes up the brain pattern by forcing the brain to think in a different way.  Your team might just end up with being more creative!  Also try, Subtract a word (or letter), where you ban a word (or letter) for the Daily Standup.  Having an entire meeting without using a word that starts with “S” can be tough.
  • Paired updates.  I just told you not to go around the circle to deliver updates!  But if you still are, try pairing people off and have them deliver each other’s update.  Why?  A partner can distill an update to its essentials, which mean ‘less boring’.  A partner can also tout the success more easily than the author.  This technique also requires each team member to listen deeply to their partner in order to properly deliver the update.
  • Mirrored updates.  Have pair deliver their update at the same time, speaking in unison.  This requires the pair to be completely attuned to each other, building empathy.  And it’s fun!

These are some things that helped me improve Daily Standups.  What worked for you?