Also called: Daily Scrum, StandUp Meeting, Morning Meeting, Daily Huddle, and Check-In Meeting
Relevant metrics: Number of completed tasks, Number of tasks in progress, Number of tasks blocked, Number of tasks completed on time, and Number of tasks completed ahead of schedule
What is Daily Stand-Up
Daily Stand-Up is a term used in Product Management and User Experience to refer to a daily meeting that is held to discuss the progress of a project. This meeting is typically brief, lasting no more than 15 minutes, and is attended by the project team members. During the meeting, each team member is expected to provide a brief update on their progress and any issues they are facing. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the team is on track and that any issues are addressed quickly. The Daily Stand-Up is an important part of the Product Management and User Experience process, as it helps to ensure that the project is progressing as planned.
A daily stand-up is a short meeting that is held every day, usually at the start of the workday. It is a quick way for team members to check in with each other and provide updates on their progress. The purpose of the stand-up is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or blockers are identified and addressed quickly.
Where did Daily Stand-Up come from?
The term “Daily Stand-Up” originated in the software development industry. It is a meeting that is held daily, usually at the start of the day, to discuss the progress of a project. The term was first used in the Agile software development methodology, which was developed in the early 2000s. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a quick update on the progress of the project and to identify any potential issues that may arise. The term “Daily Stand-Up” is derived from the fact that the meeting is usually held standing up, as it is meant to be a quick and efficient way to communicate.
How to run an effective stand up meeting
These simple steps break down the well-established basic format of the daily standup.
- The meetings ought to be concise, striving for no more than 15 minutes of duration.
- The daily standup should take place at the same time and location each day, providing a consistent routine. Some groups even utilize a specific tune as a cue to signal the team members to assemble.
- Convene in the vicinity where the work is performed, avoiding the inefficiency of arranging supplementary spaces. The optimal location is right in front of the team’s Kanban board.
- Every team member should attend, with no exceptions.
- Meetings should not be deferred even if someone arrives late or is unable to attend.
The objective of the meeting is to keep team members updated on the project’s status and facilitate its ongoing progress. In the standard daily standup format, team members respond to the following questions:
- What tasks did you complete yesterday?
- What are you currently working on?
- What hindrances are impeding your progress? What kind of assistance do you require?
Or even better:
- What did I ACHIEVE since yesterday?
- What are my plans for today?
- Do I have any impediments?
This leads to a mindset of providing value and being accountable for reaching goals – more than simply doing tasks. Impediments are more than what your team is sharing with you. It is also what you observe. In the agile methodology of Scrum, Scrum Masters are responsible for facilitating the stand-up meeting. They are seen as frontline change agents, not only meeting facilitators and task board administrators.
Standard standup meetings can sometimes feel disjointed, overly fixated on individual reports instead of focusing on the project’s holistic advancement. When these meetings become unfocused and time-consuming, their efficacy dwindles, leading team members to perceive them as a waste of their time and feeling micromanaged.
The proper implementation of daily standup meetings can effectively cultivate team synergy and synchronize project development. By strictly adhering to the aforementioned guidelines, the team can establish an efficient and productive work routine, resulting in fruitful outcomes.
Getting the most out of daily stand-ups
If you lead a team or are part of one, chances are you’ve encountered stand-up meetings. These brief but effective meetings aim to keep team members updated on project status, and encourage face-to-face conversation and communication, key principles of the Agile methodology. Here are six simple steps you can take to ensure that your team’s stand-up meetings are productive and engaging.
Establish a Consistent Schedule
Establish a consistent schedule that works for everyone. Commitment and consistency are important values in the Agile methodology, and they apply to daily stand-up meetings as well. Plan to meet at the same time every day, in the same place, and prioritize this meeting over others. Consistency makes it easy for everyone to attend and ensures that the entire team is on the same page.
Ensure Full Participation
To maximize the effectiveness of your stand-up meetings, ensure that all team members participate. Everyone should be present for every meeting, sharing updates and listening to their colleagues. When one team member leaves early, they miss out on important information and cannot offer assistance to their colleagues. The Agile methodology emphasizes face-to-face communication, so these daily stand-ups are an important way to connect with the rest of your team. Begin and end the meeting together to maintain team cohesiveness.
Appoint a Clear Leader
A clear leader should be established to moderate the stand-up meeting and keep it short and sweet. The leader may timebox status updates, manage a round-robin style meeting, or use roll call for a video conference meeting. The person running the stand-up meeting depends on what type of Agile methodology the team is using. In Scrum, for example, the Scrum Master leads daily meetings, while in other project management styles, the product or project manager may facilitate the meetings.
Keep it Brief
Stand-up meetings should take no more than 15 minutes, no matter how large your team is. If you find that you need more time, your team may be too large, and you may need to adjust the meeting format. It’s important to ensure that each team member has time to share their update, and that the meeting stays on track.
Define the Purpose
Everyone in the team should know the purpose of the stand-up meeting and how to structure their update. Three key things to share are: what was completed yesterday, what is being worked on today, and what obstacles are in the way. Anything beyond these three points can become extraneous information. The stand-up leader can guide the conversation and keep it on track.
Park derailed Conversations
Team members may try to solve problems during the stand-up meeting, which can derail the conversation. It is important to focus on the status update during the meeting and table any other conversations for later. The stand-up leader can moderate the conversation and move things along if necessary. The team can note the issue and schedule a separate meeting to discuss it further after the stand-up meeting disperses.
Address Stale Work
Despite putting work in progress limits in place, bottlenecks will inevitably form, and flow debt will accumulate. Keep a watchful eye on the oldest items in your process during stand-ups. Aging charts can show how much time every work item spends in the process and each process state. Prioritize completing work items that are moving past the average cycle time. The aging chart can help you identify where your process is slowing down while the task is still in progress.
Use Engaging Language
When initiating conversations during the daily stand-up, opt for engaging language. Rather than asking “what did you do yesterday,” start with “what challenges did you overcome” or “what are we going to achieve today?” The words used by a leader can either empower or demotivate a team. A team’s success depends on their motivation, and the daily stand-up is an opportunity to keep them inspired.
Maintain a Positive Team Environment
When executed poorly, stand-ups can feel like monitoring and imply inherent mistrust in people’s ability to manage themselves. Stand-ups can be misinterpreted as a time to report, whereas the greatest benefit of stand-ups is getting support and advice from the rest of the team. Stand-ups set the tone for the day, so it is important to keep them positive and upbeat.
Common Pitfalls of Stand-Up Meetings
Stand-up meetings are a popular tool for team communication and collaboration in Agile methodology. However, when team members have been attending these meetings for a long time, they can begin to feel repetitive and lose their effectiveness. In this section, we will discuss common pitfalls that can happen during stand-up meetings, and ways to avoid them.
Meeting turns into a generic status meeting
One common mistake that can happen during stand-up meetings is that they turn into a generic status meeting. This happens when team members provide status updates that aren’t relevant to the work they’re already doing, and the meeting becomes an ineffective use of everyone’s time. To avoid this, project managers should split the team into different huddles based on what they’re working on. This will allow team members who work closely together to be in the same huddle, ensuring that all the information being shared is relevant to everyone. By doing so, the team can avoid generic updates and instead focus on important updates that will help them stay on track.
Meetings become too long
Stand-up meetings are meant to be quick and easy, but they can easily become too long if not managed properly. If meetings are running longer than 15 minutes, it’s a sign that something needs to be reworked. Team facilitators can help by reminding team members to focus on the three main points, and if they begin discussing something else, respectfully ask them to table it for a later conversation. This will help keep the meeting on track and prevent it from becoming too long and less effective.
Team members don’t identify roadblocks
Identifying roadblocks is one of the main reasons why development teams hold stand-up meetings. If team members fail to surface any issues during these meetings, the issue could spread to the rest of the team. Often, one team member’s work is dependent on another’s, and if one person doesn’t surface the issue, it can become a blocker for everybody. That’s why it’s important to discuss any issues during the stand-up meetings, so the issue doesn’t become a blocker for the entire team. By identifying roadblocks early, team members can work together to overcome obstacles and stay on track.
Benefits of Daily Stand-Ups
- Increased visibility of progress. Daily stand-ups provide a quick and easy way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that everyone is aware of the progress being made.
- Improved communication. Daily stand-ups provide an opportunity for team members to communicate with each other and discuss any issues or challenges they may be facing.
- Increased accountability. By having a daily stand-up, team members are held accountable for their progress and can be held responsible for any delays or issues that arise.
- Improved collaboration. Daily stand-ups provide an opportunity for team members to collaborate and work together to solve problems and come up with solutions.
- Increased motivation. Daily stand-ups can help to motivate team members and keep them focused on their tasks.
Challenges of Implementing Daily Stand-Ups
- Establishing a consistent schedule. Establishing a consistent schedule for daily stand-ups can be difficult, especially when team members are in different time zones or have conflicting schedules.
- Ensuring everyone is prepared. It is important to ensure that everyone is prepared for the stand-up, with an agenda and any relevant information. This can be difficult to manage if team members are not organized or do not have the necessary resources.
- Keeping the stand-up focused. It is important to keep the stand-up focused on the agenda and not let it become a forum for discussing unrelated topics. This can be difficult to manage if team members are not disciplined or do not have the necessary skills to stay on track.
- Ensuring everyone is heard. It is important to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and that their ideas and opinions are heard. This can be difficult to manage if team members are not comfortable speaking up or do not feel their ideas are valued.
Everything you need to know about Daily Stand-Up
A daily stand-up is a short meeting that is held every day in a workplace. It is a way for teams to quickly check in with each other and discuss progress on projects. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or blockers are identified and addressed quickly.
The meeting is usually held at the same time each day and typically lasts no more than 15 minutes. During the meeting, each team member will give a brief update on what they have been working on, any issues they are facing, and what they plan to work on next. This allows the team to stay on track and identify any potential problems before they become too big.
The daily stand-up is an important part of any team’s workflow and can help ensure that projects are completed on time and to the highest quality. It is also a great way to build team morale and foster collaboration.
What is the purpose of the Daily StandUp?
Hint The purpose of the Daily Stand-Up is to provide a quick update on the progress of the team's work and to identify any potential issues or blockers.
Who will be attending the Daily StandUp?
Hint The team members, project manager, and any other stakeholders will be attending the Daily Stand-Up.
What topics will be discussed during the Daily StandUp?
Hint Topics discussed during the Daily Stand-Up will include progress on tasks, any issues or blockers, and any other relevant information.
How long will the Daily StandUp last?
Hint The Daily Stand-Up should last no longer than 15 minutes.
What is the expected outcome of the Daily StandUp?
Hint The expected outcome of the Daily Stand-Up is that the team will have a clear understanding of the progress of the project and any potential issues or blockers.
How often will the Daily StandUp take place?
Hint The Daily Stand-Up should take place at least once a day.
What is the format of the Daily StandUp?
Hint The format of the Daily Stand-Up should be a brief update from each team member, followed by a discussion of any issues or blockers.
What is the agenda for the Daily StandUp?
Hint The agenda for the Daily Stand-Up should include a brief update from each team member, followed by a discussion of any issues or blockers.
What is the expected level of participation during the Daily StandUp?
Hint The expected level of participation during the Daily Stand-Up is that all team members should be actively engaged in the discussion.
How will the Daily StandUp be documented?
Hint The Daily Stand-Up should be documented in a shared document or project management tool.
- Kent Beck @KentBeck
- Mike Cohn @mikewcohn
- Jeff Sutherland @jeffsutherland
- Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland (2014)
- Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn (2005)
- Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David J. Anderson (2010)
- Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change by Ken Schwaber (1999)
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