Bored expressions, the same three question agenda and fifteen minutes of unproductive status reporting. Daily scrum standups, an integral part of agile methodology are often considered an unavoidable burden. Slack apps and integrations can change the way teams hold daily scrums. It brings in the ease of a messenger app and offers a ton of features that will make daily standups effective and fun.  

How Slack Apps Improve the Daily Standup

Daily scrums often run longer than 15 minutes and can quickly turn into a problem-solving meeting. Conducting this meeting for a remote team is even more difficult Finding a time that suits team members from different time zones. Work starts only after the scrum is conducted., this adversely affects the productivity of the team. Slack apps and integrations can solve all the problems associated with daily scrums. Slack makes it easier to run asynchronous standups. Asynchronous meetings offer the following benefits:

  1. Teams across different time zones do not have to meet at inconvenient times.
  2. Different teams can stay abreast of what the other teams are working on without having “scrum of scrums”
  3. A written record of updates is available that can be referred to at any time.

In our article “Scrum Meeting Template-Best Practices for an Effective Scrum” we have mentioned why the scrum meeting is important and how it can be conducted. In this blog post, we list some of the best Slack bots you can use to make your scrum meeting effective.

1. Tatsu

Tatsu meaning “to stand” helps conduct a meeting in a round robin fashion. ‘Start’ will notify the channel that the meeting is starting and ask the first participant to answer the questions. It also allows users to skip attendees or dismiss them. Once the meeting ends, Tatsu will save the answers and send a report via email. The great thing about Tatsu is that it allows you to customize the questions so that it aligns with your team’s work. You can also have Tatsu ask any number of questions, instead of just three. Tatsu is priced at $1 per person per month.

Tatsu run daily standup Image credit Tatsu

2. GeekBot

Geekbot is another great Slack app for asynchronous standups. Geekbot helps you conduct multiple standups and keep different departments in sync. Team members answer questions posted by the bot and the answers are then available on the specific Slack channel This helps teams stay updated without shifting focus from the task at hand.

Custom questions can be set for each team and you can even set the mood of the Geekbot to casual or serious. A dedicated dashboard helps you keep track of all the standups and edit them as required. Geekbot helps you improve your decision-making process by providing transparent work status. Geekbot is priced at $3 per participant billed monthly.

Geekbot slack app for asynchronous standups Image credit Geekbot

3. Standuply

Standuply can help you run asynchronous standup meetings via text, video or voice. Standuply allows you to record video messages with a /video command, it is uploaded to Youtube and the link is shared on Slack. The results of your standup meetings can also be sent to relevant stakeholders. This enables everyone to stay updated on team progress without having to attend multiple meetings.

Standuply can also integrate with apps like JIRA and bring agile charts to the team. List your favorite websites and Standuply displays updates and news from there. You can even set up reminders to keep your team accountable. Standuply’s Slack Poll feature allows you to set one time or recurring polls. Standuply pricing plans start at $5 for 3 respondents billed monthly.

Standuply run asynchronous standup meetings Image credit Standuply

4. VoiceStandup

Don’t just limit your scrum meetings to text updates, VoiceStandup allows you to record and share audio updates for your daily standup. A live dashboard enables teams to run online voice based meetings that will be recorded. The link to this audio recording is then posted on a specific Slack channel. VioceStandup improves situational awareness and helps stakeholders stay updated about the team’s progress. VioceStandup pricing plans are designed for teams. It starts at $20 per team billed monthly.

VoiceStandup daily standup Image credit VoiceStandup

5. MeetNotes

MeetNotes is a collaboration tool for meeting notes, agenda and tasks. It offers a range of meeting templates, including one for the daily scrum. Slack reminders enable meeting organizers to draft an agenda and share it with all meeting attendees. You can click on the agenda link from Slack and add the scrum meeting template. You can also create your own custom template and reuse it. Add questions that best reflect your team’s work.

MeetNotes collaboration tool for meeting notes

Discover Blockers and Build Culture with Slack Standup Apps

In traditional synchronous standups blockers are usually solved right after the scrum. The Scrum master will seek out answers and try to find solutions right away. Asynchronous standups may not tackle blockers immediately. It may require consistent follow-up to get them resolved. Setup additional remote meetings to get the blockers resolved.

Building culture through an asynchronous daily standup is difficult. Traditional meetings allow attendees to show their unique personalities and bond with their team members. It gives an opportunity for attendees to add a little humor to their scrum updates. Customize your agenda questions to add humor in asynchronous scrum meetings.

Run Standups with Slack

Add a few of these bots and change the way your team communicates and collaborates. Use the Daily Standup to keep track of your team’s progress, resolve impediments and propel work forward. Are there any other Slack app you use to run scrum meetings? Let us know in the comments below.