Why We Built a Microsoft Teams Standup Bot and How It Works

By using a Microsoft Teams standup bot, you can solve several problems that teams often encounter when running synchronous standups. 

  • Standup bots make it easier to schedule standups. Due to their asynchronous nature, you don’t have to worry about getting everyone on your remote team to meet at the same time. 
  • Standup bots are less disruptive. Questions can be answered at your team’s convenience, rather than midway through a task. 
  • Standup bots allow you to focus on relevant updates. Synchronous standups can be a major waste of time for your team as they sit through developers discussing tasks that aren’t relevant to their day. Standup bots collect responses and share them in a public channel, so team members can quickly scan responses, and focus only on what’s relevant to them. 

There are several different standup bots available for Microsoft Teams, but this post focuses on our own tool, Geekbot.

Note: Geekbot is used by more than 120,000 users who run asynchronous daily meetings that are quick, easy to schedule, and non-disruptive. Click here to learn more and sign up for free!

How to Run Standups in Microsoft Teams Using Geekbot

Geekbot is an asynchronous standup bot that integrates with Microsoft Teams. It lets you run efficient standups that don’t interrupt your team’s productivity and has advanced features such as smart time zone scheduling and team analytics.

Let’s look at how easy it is to set up your first standup with Geekbot.

Select the Daily Standup Template

First, select “Daily Standup” in your Geekbot dashboard. 

(Geekbot can also be used to run retrospectives, polls, and more.)

Select a Preset: Daily standup, Retrospective, Meeting notes, Pizza toppings, etc.

Schedule Your Daily Standup

Period and Days: Schedule which days you'd like to send out the standup.

Once you click on “Daily Standup,” you can schedule the standup, customize your questions, and choose which participants will receive the standup.

When you schedule your standup, you can pick which days and times the standup will be sent out. 

You can also select the frequency for standups to be sent out:

  • Every Week
  • Every Two Weeks
  • Every Three Weeks
  • Every Four Weeks
  • First Week of the Month
  • Last Week of the Month

Some teams do standups daily, while others only need a standup a few times a week. 

A major benefit of using Geekbot is that we can automatically factor in each team member’s time zone when sending out the standup questions, so team members get notified it’s time to complete the standup at a convenient time of the day. At the time of publishing, this particular feature has not yet been released. However, it’s in the works and will be live soon. 

Time and Timezone: Send out standups at a user's local timezone.

Customize Your Standup Questions

You can customize your standup questions before you send them out, but the default questions are:

  • What did you do yesterday?  
  • What will you do today?
  • Anything blocking your progress?

Many customers choose to add a question such as “How do you feel today?” or “Anything fun happen over the weekend?”, which adds a personal touch to the standup experience (as you can read about in our GitLab case study on increasing team camaraderie remotely).

Collect Responses

Geekbot will notify participants it’s time to fill out the standup questions at the date and time you specified:

Geekbot and Microsoft Teams integration: Daily Standup

As the responses come in, they will be posted in whichever channel you designated: 

Geekbot and Microsoft Teams integration: Daily Updates

Participants have the option to tag each other (i.e. to get help with a blocker), and converse via thread without disrupting others:

Geekbot and Microsoft Teams integration: Threaded Conversations

Analyze the Info

Another benefit of text-based standups is that your team’s responses are saved and can easily be referenced in the future when running retrospectives, troubleshooting problems, writing performance reviews, and more. 

This data is viewable in the Geekbot dashboard, but you can also get summaries emailed to you after each standup.

Geekbot and Microsoft Teams: Insights and Analytics

Geekbot Reviews

Geekbot has 97 reviews on Capterra with an average rating of 4.9/5 stars

Geekbot is designed to be easy-to-use, with a welcoming and intuitive user experience. This means it takes hardly any time at all to create a standup:

Geekbot review: "Super easy to use and quick to setup!"
Geekbot review: "Must have for remote teams!"

Geekbot Pricing

Geekbot offers both free and paid tiers for Microsoft teams. 

  1. Start-Up: If you’re using your standup bot for 10 people or fewer, you can use Geekbot for free. 
  2. Scale-Up: If you have over 11 participants in your standup, Geekbot costs $2.50 per user per month (if billed annually), and $3 per user per month (if billed monthly). 
  3. Enterprise: If you need a custom plan from Geekbot, click here and we can schedule a time to talk about how we can meet your needs. 

Our commitment to fair pricing: You only get charged for active standup participants. If 40 team members are in your Slack workspace, but in a given month only 12 of those folks complete a standup using Geekbot, then you only pay for 12 users. 

Final Thoughts: Getting Started with Geekbot

Geekbot is an asynchronous software tool that lets teams run various kinds of meetings — from standups, to polls, to retrospectives.

Using Geekbot with Microsoft Teams lets you enrich your digital workspace by increasing communication between individuals without disrupting workflow or running into scheduling conflicts. 

Learn more about how our tool works and sign up here!

Frequently asked questions

What’s the Benefit of Asynchronous Daily Scrums?

By switching to asynchronous standups, and using a tool like Geekbot that integrates with both Microsoft Teams and Slack, teams can minimize workflow interruption, increase communication, and keep the sprint on track.

How Many Days a Week Should There Be Standup Meetings?

The fact it’s called a daily standup can give teams the wrong idea. The truth is you shouldn’t blindly follow any Scrum ceremony; instead, you should adapt it to your team’s needs in that specific sprint.
     
Some sprints will have longer periods before major changes — in that case, a daily standup twice a week might serve your team better vs. having one every day.
     
With Geekbot, we let you schedule when you want your team to have a standup, whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly.

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