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Our group's stand-up meeting format 

Posted 9/16/2022


In 2021, we started holding weekly group status update meetings, in addition to our more traditional seminar meetings. We tried them as an experiment, and kept going after the group gave them rave reviews. I'm posting our group's format below, for readers interested in trying this. Note, this approach is adopted from the very helpful proposal by Professors Michael Hicks and Jeffrey Foster, which I learned of from Cal Newport.

Meeting goals

  • Make sure everyone has visibility about what others are doing.
  • Raise sticking points or find areas of shared interest that small groups can follow up on later.
  • Encourage us all to reflect regularly on our achievements, challenges, and upcoming goals.
  • Provide time after the status updates to socialize and build community.

 Meeting format

  • Duration: 15 minutes for status updates, followed by 45 minutes of group social time 
  • Everyone stands for the status updates, to help keep the meeting short 
  • Come with a 1- or 2-minute summary, answering the following questions: 
    • What did you complete last week? 
    • What goals do you have this week? 
    • What tools/data/approaches are you using? 
    • What are you stuck on? 
  • Try to be specific with your summaries, as specific information is useful for others to see connections or ways in which they might assist. For example, say "I'm trying to use a new Python package XXX to import data from source YYY," instead of "I'm trying to get my new data loaded". 
  • Short follow-up comments are encouraged (e.g., "I'm working on that too," or "I have some ideas about that issue--let's follow up afterward"). But to stay within our time goal, avoid extended back-and-forth discussions in the middle of the updates. 
  • We'll have coffee afterward, focused mostly on general socializing. But some follow-up discussions based on the stand-up topics or other general group interest items are fine. 
  • Bring your coffee or snack to the stand-up meeting so that we can transition quickly instead of splitting up after the status updates. 
  • If you have to miss a meeting, e-mail a briefing to the group on the morning of the meeting (so that others can discuss at the meeting if something is relevant) 




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