For several years now, businesses have tapped into the benefits of remote working. New technology has meant that a business based in London can employ staff around the world – all working remotely – without losing out on the vital communication that a team needs to get the job done.
In March of this year, remote working was taken to a new level when, across the globe, office-based employees began to work from home in a bid to help with the fight against COVID-19. In the last few months, technology for teams has been more important than ever and, businesses have relied on a number of different tools to help them keep the wheels turning.
I’ve made it my mission in life to try as many team tools as possible (hey, I’m a self-confessed tech nerd) and, today, I’m going to talk to you about a really clever bit of kit – Standuply.
Standuply is a Slack bot that helps teams stay organized and efficient by running stand-up meetings in text format and capturing team feedback. Whether your team is distributed or co-located, Standuply makes it easy to hold effective stand-up meetings and track team performance for better project management.
Getting down with Standuply
In 2020, a huge number of businesses use Slack to help their team stay in touch and stay on topic. Slack is a proprietary business platform which provides chat rooms, groups, team bubbles and messaging which can be sorted by topic and other sub-categories.
Slack has become an incredibly popular method of internal communication for businesses with 12 million users worldwide.
Perfect for -a remote team, Standuply is a really easy way for teams to run asynchronous standup meetings, daily team meetings, polls and more.
Launched in 2016 by Artem Borodin, Standuply is headquartered in Tomsk, Russia and employs seven full time members of staff.
How does it work ?
In a nutshell, Standuply lets you create questions for your team to answer and then conducts these interviews for you within Slack. Standuply then collates all of the answers given and presents them to you in your Standuply account in an easy to view format – along with all historical stand-ups.
How do I get started?
I’m glad you asked! With Standuply, there’s no sitting down on the job; getting started is really simple and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. Here’s how it’s done:
First things first, you need to have a Slack account before you sign up to Standuply so, make sure that you have your details handy.
- Stroll on over to https://standuply.com/
- Click onto the green ‘Sign Up’ button the top right hand corner
- Choose your sign up method (email / Slack / Google or Facebook). Signing up with a social media account is by far the quickest option as it cuts out the entering of details and verifying your email address.
- You’ll then be asked to choose a mentor – these mentors will state a price for consultation but, don’t worry, there are free ones available. Alternatively, you can skip this stage and go straight to your dashboard.
- From your dashboard, click onto ‘Teams’ on the top toolbar
- You’ll now have the option to manually enter the name of your Slack team or, copy and paste a link to be sent to your Slack administrator
- Your Slack team will then be added to your account and, that’s it, you’re ready to standup(ly) and be counted!
How much does Standuply cost?
With Standuply, you have the choice of four different price packages and, these are:
Starter Package $0
This first, basic package is perfect for those who want to give Standuply a try without handing over their hard earned cash. The Starter Package allows you to add three active respondents and includes customisable options, video and voice messaging.
Team Package starting at $2 per month
The Team Package is an incredibly reasonable price and lets you add three respondents. For your crisp fiver, you’ll get unlimited standups, customisable options, video and voice messaging, standups history and integrations with third party services. The price depends on a number of users, you can choose from 1 to 200 or unlimited users. The more users you pick, the higher the price. The cost of the Team Package can go up to $199 per month.
Business Package starting at $4 per month
For the growing team, the Business Package has all of the features of the Team Package plus conditional questions, priority support, multi-admin access, task tracker based surveys, and multi-reminders. Just like with the previous package, you can choose a number of users, which raises the price up to $299 per month.
Enterprise Package – Price on request
If none of the above packages satisfy you, you can contact Standuply and ask for a custom plan tailored specifically for your business.
You will also receive a discount if you choose to be billed annually.
What are Standuply’s features?
Standuply has more than a few tricks up its sleeve – which is why it’s rapidly becoming one of the favourite collaboration tools for remote teams. Let’s take a look at some of them:
What’s a business without reporting? Standuply allows users to run reports on a schedule or asynchronous. Admins can schedule a time for meetings and, at the scheduled time, Slack will contact selected team members with pre-defined questions and then put the responses together into a project status report.
Admins can choose to receive reports by email, Slack or direct message and, can choose to receive them in separate messages or packed into a thread.
Reports are great but, do you know what’s better? Reports with voice and video messages, that’s what! When compiling responses from users for reporting, Standuply team members are also able to attach a voice or video message up to five minutes in length in order to clarify and expand on responses. These messages are then uploaded and shared in Slack for easy access.
Standuply helps you to make sure that each team member sees all the latest updates and information but sending out instant updates to one and all to make goals more manageable.
As well as pre-defined questionnaires, Standuply also allows users to customise in order to create their own unique templates.
This clever bot lets admins synchronise business calendars and meeting schedules for the whole team quickly and easily.
Admins can give access to stakeholders in order to allow them to view the progress of a project without having to request a report.
As you would expect from such an agile tool, Standuply has integrations with a number of other platforms including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Stripe and Trello – all of which can be included in reporting.
The ups and downs of Standuply
I couldn’t write a review without a Pros and Cons section but, I’ll be honest, I had to do a fair bit of digging to find anything really deserving of the Cons part when it comes to Standuply. Still, here we go:
- User friendly – Standuply really is super easy to use and uses intuitive methodology to get you where you need to go quickly.
- Price – Even Standuply’s most expensive option, the Program Manager package is pretty darn reasonable at $17 per month; meaning that there’s a Standuply option to suit every budget.
- Features – You really couldn’t ask for more – or better – features; particularly in a tool in this price range. Standuply’s features add huge value to teams at very little cost.
- Integrations – Standuply’s solid integrations options mean that users can provide comprehensive reporting without any hassle.
- Scheduling – This is really where Standuply excels – particularly for those with teams in different countries. Scheduling is quick, easy and efficient.
As I said, I’ve had to dig pretty deep to come up with some cons but, here they are:
- Responding to updates – Standuply can occasionally make it a little tricky to reply to an update from a particular person.
- Stability – Some users reported some stability issues in the early days but these are being dealt with by Standuply.
What are some alternatives to Standuply?
As you may have guessed, I’m pretty smitten with Standuply, however, if you find that you don’t share my enthusiasm, there are some good alternatives out there. Some of these are:
A platform for standups and check ins, Geekbot also offers data driven insights through charts and diagrams for further insight. Geekbot was founded by Nick Papanotas and costs $2.50 per month.
Basic but effective, this tool was launched in 2019 and offers custom questions, activity tracking, reporting and more. ScrumGenius costs $7 per month per person.
Polly For Slack
An app for Slack, Polly is primarily focussed on polls (see what they did there?) The app was founded in 2015 by Samir Diwan and Bilal Aijazi and, costs between $0 and $17 per month.
An automated reporting and insights program, Status Hero offers daily check in and summary reports and, costs between $3 and $7 per month.
Now that I’ve done my duty and offered a few alternatives to Standuply, I’m happy to rise to the occasion and confirm that this is the Slack tool for me. Truth be told, this tool has a heck of a lot going for it and very few downsides.
The affordable and straightforward pricing means that there’s an option for even businesses on the tightest of budgets and, Standuply’s flexibility means that you can always upgrade or add more active users.
Standuply supports features that not many tool offer and each feature is effective and well thought out. As many teams remain working from home for the foreseeable future, Standuply is one tool that no business – however big or small should do without. In my opinion, Standuply is the most flexible tool on the market, perfect for everyday control of your employees.