daily stand-up meeting

What is a daily stand-up meeting?

A daily stand-up meeting is a short organizational meeting that is held each day. The meeting, generally limited to between five and 15 minutes long, is sometimes referred to as a stand-up, a morning roll-call or a daily Scrum.

The daily stand-up meeting is a technique popularized by Agile methodologies, with the aim to streamline team communication and quickly address immediate concerns. This meeting type has gained significant traction in software development and project management domains but is increasingly applied across various fields for its effective time management and team alignment benefits.

The purpose of a stand-up meeting is to create transparency regarding what everyone is working on, identify potential roadblocks, and facilitate necessary collaboration. It also enforces accountability, as team members regularly report their progress and plans.

Daily stand-up meeting: The 3 key questions

In a stand-up meeting, each team member answers three key questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are there any impediments in your way?

By answering these questions, each team member provides an overview of their tasks, facilitating better visibility into the project's status and potential challenges.

Project lifecycle diagram.
When each member of a project team answers the three standard questions of the daily stand-up meeting it facilitates the project lifecycle.

The stand-up concept

The term stand-up in the daily stand-up meeting signifies the idea of keeping the meeting short. The physical act of standing serves as a reminder to participants to be succinct, keeping discussions focused and brief.

Nevertheless, the essence of a stand-up meeting lies in its brevity and focus rather than the standing itself, and it can be conducted effectively even in remote or virtual settings.

Timing and scheduling of the daily stand-up meeting

Typically, daily stand-up meetings are held at the start of the workday. This timing is strategic to provide direction for the day's work and ensure that any obstacles are identified and addressed promptly. However, the ideal timing can vary based on team dynamics and work schedules.

The 12 principles of Agile software development.
Agile methodologies popularized the concept of the daily stand-up meeting as a means to streamline team communication and quickly address immediate concerns.

Beyond the daily stand-up meeting

While the stand-up meeting is not a forum for detailed discussions or problem-solving, it often helps identify areas that require further deliberation. When such topics emerge, they should be taken offline or scheduled for a separate meeting with relevant stakeholders, ensuring that the stand-up remains quick and focused.

Daily stand-up meeting in a remote setting

With remote work becoming increasingly prevalent, daily stand-ups have evolved to suit this format. Virtual stand-up meetings via video conferencing or chat tools are now commonplace. Some teams also use automated stand-up bots in tools like Slack and Teams to gather updates, which can be especially beneficial for teams spread across different time zones.

Explore 4 ways to make a distributed Scrum team work and ways to partially implement Agile and still get results.

This was last updated in June 2023

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