In this post, we’ll list some of the most popular daily standup tools on the market.
In theory, standups are supposed to be a quick and efficient way to get everyone on the same page and remove blockers.
However, as you might have experienced, standup meetings often:
- Run too long
- Disrupt your workday just as you get into a flow state
- Require you to sit through updates that aren’t relevant to your own work (among other issues which we discuss in more detail here).
What’s notable is that the problems above — long, not completely relevant, and interruptive daily standups — are not just limited to in-person standups, they are equally applicable to remote, video conferencing standups as well, because Zoom or Google Hangouts are also synchronous by nature.
To solve these issues at a fundamental level, you need to make the standup asynchronous. That’s what our team set out to do when deciding to build Geekbot, a tool that lets teams run asynchronous daily standup meetings in Slack, and in effect, shorten standups and minimize workflow disruptions (see logistics).
We’re proud of the product and features we’ve built, and we use Geekbot everyday ourselves, along with 60,000 users. In this article, we’ll go into detail on how our daily standup tool works and why it’s effective. In addition, we’ll list several other daily standup tools that might make more sense for your specific situation.
Daily Standup Tools:
Since we built Geekbot to solve the problems with synchronous standups (in person or video) that we mentioned above, in this section, we’ll explain how it works and why we made certain feature choices to make standups run as efficiently as possible.
We made Geekbot in 2015, and we still use it everyday ourselves. We’re also proud that 60,000 users have signed up for our product (including teams within GitHub, Asana, Shopify, Salesforce, Sony, Airbnb, and more).
Zapier has written about their experience running asynchronous standups using Geekbot’s daily standup tool. In their post, they mentioned that, “The main benefit of Geekbot is that it shortens standups”. In addition, “If there’s more to say on any given topic, it’s easy for people to have lingering side discussions: you can open up a [Slack] thread and talk right there—without extending a meeting for everyone else.”
So how does this work?
Geekbot sends out a notification to relevant team members in Slack, asking them to fill out their standup answers asynchronously at a convenient, non-disruptive time of their choosing:
Note: the standup questions that get sent out are completely customizable
The responses are posted in one centralized Slack channel:
Teammates can quickly type their updates, scan each other’s answers, and open up a Slack thread if they’d like to discuss something in more detail:
As you can see above, a daily scrum update resulted in a discussion thread about a blocker that only involves 2 specific people. So the rest of the team didn’t have to waste time and listen to something that didn’t involve them (which is often the case in an in-person or video standup meeting).
We discuss the benefits of asynchronous, in-Slack standups in greater detail here, and here are some highlights:
No More Worrying About Time Zone Differences
You can customize Geekbot to prompt standup attendees in Slack in their own local timezone, and at a convenient time that doesn’t disrupt their workflow.
One of our customers on Capterra mentioned that originally, “there was no convenient time to have a scrum because of the 12 hour time difference”. But Geekbot helped solve that problem for their remote team:
Geekbot Can Send Reminders to Standup Participants That Don’t Complete Their Answers
You can configure Geekbot to send several notification reminders to team members that snooze the first Slack standup alert in case they’re too busy or in the zone.
This helps ensure the answers are completed. However, the reminder notifications are completely optional, and the feature is turned off by default (so it doesn’t feel intrusive). This was an intentional choice by our team, and one of our users posted a relevant Capterra review:
Searchable History That You Can Reference at Any Point
The daily scrum answers can be published in a public or private Slack channel. That being said, you can also view the updates and filter by specific dates via Geekbot’s dashboard, or download the responses via a CSV file. In addition, each team member has the option to get a standup summary emailed to them:
Going back in time and filtering daily standup responses by date can be especially useful when performing a sprint retrospective, and many of the users we spoke to use our dashboard for that purpose:
You also have the option to use Geekbot’s API or Webhooks to integrate with your existing workflow (i.e. Jira, Asana, Trello, etc.)
Geekbot Turns the Standup Answers Into Useful Data
Teams have the option of using Sankey diagrams, Gantt charts, and more to get data driven insights from standup answers (i.e. common blockers and topics that often come up, time spent on specific tasks, etc.)
Faster Than In-Person or Video Standups
In-person and video standup meetings are synchronous and naturally prone to rambling, oversharing, side discussions, and so on. This can lead to daily meeting overruns, which takes time away from busy engineers and developers with a lot on their plate.
Typing your daily standup updates in Slack and skimming answers is quick, and in our talks with users, it usually takes most team members around 5 mins per day. Needless to say, this is a significant advantage for anyone who has ever been frustrated with lengthy daily standups.
One of our customers posted a relevant review on Capterra about how our standup Slack bot helped save them a lot of time (“not 30 min standups anymore”).
Even saving as little as 5 minutes a day can really add up over the years and give engineering and development teams more time to focus on the tasks that matter.
Getting Started with Geekbot
Geekbot’s Online Reviews
Our whole team has put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the UI/UX is clean and simple, the product feels intuitive and easy to use, and the onboarding process is straightforward.
We’re proud that a lot of users have noticed this, which has translated into more reviews than any competing daily standup software on popular review sites like Capterra, Crozdesk, and so on.
See all Capterra reviews here (58 reviews, 4.9 stars)
See all Crozdesk reviews here (23 reviews, 4.6 stars)
Friday allows agile teams to automate daily standups and routine team meetings:
Friday can deliver the prompt to give a standup update via both email and Slack. However, at Geekbot, our entire product is focused solely around Slack.
If your entire team doesn’t use Slack and it makes more sense to get prompted via email, then this standup tool is a good option.
Standuply automates standups and other types of meetings within Slack. You can view it as a “Project Management Digital Assistant”.
Standuply offers a unique mentorship program to users, where your agile team can choose a number of mentors online and either hire them for a consultation call or ask a one time question.
Jell is a daily standup meeting tool that is also very useful for task management and OKRs.
With Jell, you can set goals, share progress, and score your performance:
As you can probably guess by its name, Polly is best known as a tool for polls and survey workflows in Slack. While they give users the option to run daily standup meetings via Slack, it’s not the sole focus of their product.
Polly has a very large number of features/capabilities that enterprise companies could find useful (i.e. survey workflows for IT help desk health, employee onboarding, etc.). It’s quite a robust tool.
ScrumGenius is a daily standup app that teams can use to run quick and productive standups in Slack. It’s worth noting that it’s one of the only daily standup tools on the market that integrates with Cisco Webex. In addition, it can integrate with Microsoft Teams and email.
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