Hosting Daily Standup Meetings

Hosting Daily Standup Meetings

11 November 2015

In our last post we began to unpack how the basic tenets of agile development apply to the managed service practice. Seeing tickets in this visual manner is only the beginning. A second and equally as important part of the Agile Manifesto is “responding to change over following a plan”. When daily standup meetings are implemented teams become more productive through interaction and collaboration.

We begin every day with a 15 minute standup meeting. During these meetings we display the Kanban Service Board and each technician individually speaks to all of their open tickets. Conversations began to evolve with comments like these: “Hey, I worked with Sally on that same issue last week,” “Let me take that from you, you’ve got enough to do today,” or, “I’m headed over there for another customer, I can stop by and solve that while I’m at it.” Patterns began to emerge and efficiencies developed, all playing a big part in our 50% reduction in open tickets.

An unexpected but welcome side effect to hosting the daily standup is greater focus on updating tickets. Similar to many MSPs, we have always been challenged to find ways to motivate technicians to enter their time on tickets and capture the details of the work. Turning it into a conversation rather than an end-of-the-day data entry nightmare has significantly improved the timeliness and completeness of our tickets. How’s this for an update on a ticket: “I also mentioned to them that we could help with setting up the new office and running cable if need be. They’re also interested in quotes for off-site backups and Mac-based inventory software”. Turning service tickets into sales opportunities!

The power of a simple conversation is mind-boggling, so much so that we’ve expanded the fostering of communication beyond our internal team out to our customers. Practice leaders need to understand the importance of getting direct, personal access to their teams and customers. Ad hoc communication can be the most effective means to the goal. We will explore this further in our next post, stay tuned.

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