Holding Altitude

To help you navigate the unprecedented business challenges related to the current crisis, we have assembled this curated collection of business and leadership tools. Below you’ll find remote work best practices, decision-making models, and some of the best resources we’re using ourselves.

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Considerations
and Best Practices

DAILY STANDUP

WHAT IT IS

A brief daily status meeting usually held standing rather than sitting — which helps everyone be brief and to the point. Each person summarizes:

  1. What they accomplished yesterday
  2. What they’ll tackle today
  3. Anything slowing them down (roadblocks, like lack of clarity, access, or resources)

The team shouldn’t try to discuss or solve any issues raised. The point is for everyone to know what is going on and identify who needs to be in follow-up conversations. Stand ups provide everyone with the big picture, and people only spend time in working sessions if their input is needed.

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK REMOTELY

With teams distributed across many locations, the daily standup becomes even more important to prevent work from stalling, waiting on an email response or playing phone tag. Many of the tips below also apply to in-person meetings but become crucial to success for remote collaboration! 

STRUCTURE FOR SUCCESS

• Schedule for the same time every day, and prioritize full team attendance

• Set expectations early, and reiterate for the first several meetings

• Use a shared digital status board that everyone can reference 

• Designate someone to capture topics raised for follow-up conversations

BUILD YOUR RHYTHM

• Open up the call early to overcome any of your own technical hiccups

• Establish a method to "pass the mic" around to avoid talking over one another

• Support team follow-through by holding clarifying discussions immediately after the full meeting if possible 

CUSTOMIZE FOR YOUR TEAM

• Address existing project plans or dashboards 

• Turn on video for a more collaborative feel, or make customized avatars to help personalities shine through

• Add an occasional short ice breaker question for people to answer along with their update to build relationships and add levity

• Once your team builds the daily standup habit, your other recurring meetings may become less necessary—you might need them less often, for shorter time periods, or not at all! 

THINGS TO AVOID

• Don’t create a lot of overhead sending detailed agendas in advance or meeting minutes after the fact

• Don’t let anyone turn their update into a laundry list or play-by-play

• Don’t police the process so much that you force people to schedule follow-up meetings when an extra 30 seconds of discussion would resolve the topic

• Don’t lose sight of the need for community

OUR FAVORITE TOOLS TO USE

• Kanban boards, like those in JiraTrelloBasecampAsanaMonday, or Smartsheet

• Group chat tools, like SlackMicrosoft Teams, or Monday

• Conferencing tools like ZoomSkype, or Google Hangouts

Here’s a video on how our consultants use Kanban boards to stay organized:

As consultants we use a number of tools, frameworks, and models to meet the variety of projects we step into. Stepping into homeschooling while continuing to work full-time has been one of the toughest challenges some of our consultants have faced. Download our best tips and tools to navigate this challenge at home.

As you find yourself facing challenges you’ve never encountered before, and weighing options inconceivable just a few weeks ago, consider the decision-making models below to unlock insights and action.

The Eisenhower Matrix for Task Prioritization

Eisenhower Matrix

This model helps people and organizations be not just more productive, but more effective through classification according to two parameters: Urgent matters and Important matters. Download a PDF with more information about the Eisenhower Matrix.


SWOT Analysis for Strategy

This model helps clarify objectives and implementation solutions. The analysis can be performed at any time, for example when taking on new ventures, product development, or in deciding business transition points. Download a PDF with more information about SWOT analysis.

THE PROJECT PORTFOLIO MATRIX FOR PROJECT PRIORITIZATION

How do you ensure prioritization between competing projects? This model is a useful tool for balancing initiatives. Download a PDF with more information about the Project Portfolio Matrix.

THE KANO MODEL FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

This model is a simple way to decide which features a product or service should have. The model indicates that products or services are not just about functionality but emotions and customer satisfaction as well. Download a PDF with more information about the Kano model.


How are you adapting to meet the needs of your people and retain company culture in the new normal? Here are some mindsets and strategies to put people first and maintain employee engagement.

Risk assessment matrix

As your business responds to our changing reality, you are bound to find yourself weighing challenging choices. Use a risk assessment matrix to uncover clarity and guide your next steps. Download a PDF with more information about the Risk Assessment Matrix.

LEAD YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Twelve lessons for responding to unfolding events, communicating, and extracting and applying leanings.

Coronavirus Small Business Guide

Resources for businesses looking for assistance in the event of local, regional, or statewide economic impacts due to identified disasters.

Business Resource Center | BIO

Toolkit for businesses to consider their responses to Coronavirus, such as: business continuity, travel guidance, supply chain resources, and more.

Business continuity: Coronavirus crisis puts CIOs' plans to the test

Learn how CIOs are ensuring their employees have the tools they require to work remotely and securely.

15 Things to Look for When Choosing Online Meeting Software

Factors and features to consider when choosing the best software to stay connected.

COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders

Overnight, many companies have become work-from-home operations. Here's how leaders can promote peak performance in their remote workers.

FACILITATING A REMOTE WORKSHOP: TIPS & TRICKS FOR SUCCESS

With the recent shift towards increased remote working, Propeller consultants are fielding recurring requests to translate their previously-planned workshops and interactive, multi-hour events into a digital environment. We’ve consolidate some best practices and tips for bringing your workshop online.