In Scrum, on each day of a sprint, the scrum team holds a daily scrum meeting called the daily scrum or the daily standup meeting. These short, daily meetings are common in the Agile environment, but because they’re so great at fostering teamwork and transparency, they are growing in popularity across many other types of departments and projects.

Because of its growing popularity, we’ll take a look at these meetings in more detail. What is a daily standup meeting? Why would you hold a daily standup meeting? And what is the best way to hold your daily meetings or to improve them? We’ve put together the best tips and tricks to help you run your daily scrum meeting lean and effective!

First things first: what is a daily standup meeting?

A daily standup meeting is a 15 minutes meeting that is held every day, ideally during the start of the working day. During the daily scrum, each team member answers the following three questions:

  • What did I do yesterday?
  • What will I do today?
  • Are there any impediments in my way?

Where and when?

Meet where the work happens, same place, same time. Ideally, the daily standup meeting is held in the morning, because this will help set the context for the day. If you have a scrum board of story wall, meet in front of that. It will help the team to actually see the work and the progress they are talking about during this meeting.

Why hold a daily standup meeting?

There are many reasons to hold a standup meeting every day. Think about transparency, engagement, and commitment.

The daily scrum meeting is held to foster teamwork and transparency. It’s not a status update meeting in which everyone lets the boss or manager know what tasks they’ve accomplished. Rather, the daily standup is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other by telling each other what they’ve done and what they will be doing. So, the focus is on each other’s accomplishments and remaining work. If a team member says that he will finish a task today, everyone knows that in tomorrow’s meeting, he will say whether or not he actually finished it. This way you will truly achieve commitment and transparency in your team.

The daily standup meeting is also held to give attention to any impediments. An impediment is a factor that blocks the development team in its creation of a valuable piece of software. The impediments that are stated always become the scrum master’s problem. It’s the scrum master’s responsibility to solve all problems as quickly as possible after the daily standup meeting. This way, all people in the team can do their job without something holding them back. The scrum master is the ultimate impediment remover :).

Examples of impediments that team members can encounter:

  • My laptop charger broke and I need a new one today.
  • I still haven’t got the software I ordered 3 weeks ago.
  • I’m experiencing undesired pressure from the management.
  • I don’t have the right skills to solve this technical problem.
  • I need to discuss something with the Product owner, but he seems unavailable.

Why standing?

The daily scrum meeting is usually held while standing up. This reinforces the idea that the meeting is intended to be short. The standup meeting is held to make the team aware of the current status and impediments, not to foster a longer discussion or attempt to solve problems. So, standing up will remind them to keep it short. Another benefit of standing up is that it will keep the energy high and will help the team to stay focused.

daily standup meeting

Tips for a kick-ass daily standup meeting!

A truly effective daily standup meeting requires experimentation, preparation, and motivation for you to experience the benefits of this daily short meeting. However, more often than not, the standup meetings tend to be too long and get unfocused, thereby destroying the very purpose of the meeting. Here are some effective tips for a successful daily standup meeting:

  • 15 minutes or less. Keep your daily standup meetings 15 minutes or less. Some people tend to wander off into storytelling. Some people want to engage in problem-solving immediately after they’ve heard a problem. But remind yourself and your team that the daily standup meetings are not held to solve problems or have long discussions.
  • Be on time! These meetings only last 15 minutes. To make sure everyone’s involved, be on time, every single day. It won’t benefit the team spirit if some people are late.
  • Keep the team engaged. People’s minds wander off quickly. Make sure they stay engaged. For example, you can use a token to pass around, indicating whose turn it is to speak. This will keep team members on their toes and they will stay focused.
  • Put discovered problems on hold. Don’t try to solve problems during this meeting. Discovered problems can be solved by the relevant person or subgroup immediately after the meeting. The meeting can last no longer than 15 minutes, so do not try to solve problems during this meeting.
  • Keep it fun! Start every standup meeting with a joke, meme, gif, comic, quote, etc. This will keep the interest high and will make sure it stays fun and crisp.
  • Say ‘thank you’. If there’s something a colleague helped you with, don’t forget to thank him/her for that! Thanking someone can really help you to build a good working relationship.
  • Hold your daily standup meeting around the task board. Meet where the work happens. When holding the daily meeting, it makes it much easier if team members can point at stories and tasks on a task board. It will help you stay focused and prevents you’ll talk about things that are unrelated.
  • Signal the end. If you’re going to signal the start of the meeting, signal the end of it too. When the last person has spoken, the gradual realization that it’s time to walk away isn’t really energizing. So, this is the last opportunity to energize team members before they return to work. You could use a team cheer or signature sign-off. Go team!
  • Actually stand up. Yes, it’s called a standup meeting, so have all attendees stand up during the meeting. It will remind everyone to keep it short when they experience physical discomfort from standing too long. A simple way to encourage standing is to simply hold the meeting where there are no chairs

The final note

Call it a daily scrum, daily standup, daily huddle, morning roll-call, morning meetings, or standup meeting, these recurring meetings are a very important part of your day. The daily standup meeting helps you and your team to have a shared understanding of your goals. With this meeting, you’ll make sure every team member is working toward the same goal, so you’ll have an effective team! Daily standup meetings are a very effective way of ensuring commitment in your team. The meeting will make you share problems and improvements. You’ll know the status of everyone’s work, if there’s anything holding them back and which way you can help each other. Make sure everyone’s comfortable sharing their problems.

What do you think? Ready to import these kinds of meetings in your daily work life?

Curious about other types of meetings besides the daily standup meeting? Check out our blog about 4 meeting types and how to make them work!

Need a helping hand with your daily standup meeting?

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