The Daily Standup meeting seems quite straightforward, but we all know even simple and routine gatherings can be messy.
You might have one team member rambling with minute details about their updates, or another not really engaging in problem solving.
In this blog, we'll give you advice for these challenges, clear up what you're actually supposed to do, and provide you with a free agenda template.
What Is a Daily Standup?
The Daily Standup (or Daily Scrum, daily huddle) is a quick (usually 15-minute long) gathering, held at the same time and place every working day of the Sprint.
The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to make sure everyone is on the same page and to progress toward the Sprint Goal. Additionally, an action plan should be created for the next day of work. Sometimes this includes adapting the Sprint Backlog as necessary.
By following these guidelines, the Daily Scrum can enhance team members' focus and self-management.
Daily Scrums enhance communication, pinpoint obstacles, foster rapid decision-making, and as a result, reduce the necessity for additional meetings.
Of course, developers can also adjust their plans outside and on top of the Daily Scrum. They might have more detailed conversations about adapting or re-planning the remaining work for the Sprint throughout the day.
The objectives can be met by making team members address these three questions:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Are there any obstacles in your way?
Daily Stand Up meetings are typically attended by:
- Development Team: Shares updates and discusses impediments.
The Daily Standup is primarily for the Development Team, focusing on their progress towards the Sprint Goal and next-day planning. It's the only Scrum event exclusively for the team, fostering self-organization and collaboration without external influence.
The Scrum Master and Product Owner can attend but with specific roles: the Scrum Master as a facilitator, and the Product Owner for quick feedback and clarifications. Their participation is optional to prevent the meeting from becoming a status report session, which can hinder open communication and team autonomy.
This setup ensures the Development Team can effectively self-organize and plan, essential for achieving goals on time.
Daily Standup vs. Status Meetings
It's easy to mistake Daily Scrums for status meetings. They're, however, very different types of meetings. Here are the main differences in a nutshell.
- Focus: Daily Standups are collaborative planning sessions aimed at planning work for the next 24 hours and addressing impediments to the Sprint Goal. Status meetings are typically about reporting individual progress on previous tasks to someone in a leadership role.
- Participants: Daily Standups involve the development team, with optional participation from the Scrum Master and Product Owner, emphasizing team collaboration. Status meetings often include individuals reporting to a team lead, project manager, or manager, focusing on individual contributions.
- Meeting Rhythm: Daily Scrums occur every day and are brief, keeping everyone on the same page effectively. Status meetings might not have this frequency and can vary in length, often depending on the managerial style and project phase.
But why is it so important to make that distinction? Why can't we take some inspiration from the practices of status meetings for how we conduct Daily Scrums?
There are a few reasons:
- Self-Empowerment: Daily Scrums empower the development team to manage their own work, fostering autonomy and self-organization. This contrasts with status meetings, which often center around reporting to higher authorities, keeping the person reporting their tasks more dependent on the supervisor's insights. If a person feels like they are trusted with their responsibilities, they might feel more motivated to do their work well.
- Transparency: Because Developers get to meet alone, they might feel more free to express any thoughts they have about their work and challenges. Status meetings, where one has to report to their supervisor, might inhibit such openness. Transparency, in turn, can increase trust in the team and lead to better decision making.
- Problem-Solving and Outcome Orientation: In Daily Scrums, the team actively plans to overcome obstacles and focuses on achieving the Sprint Goal. Status meetings often lack this proactive approach, centering instead on task updates and possibly offloading the bigger picture mindset to the manager.
Daily Standup Agenda Template
According to the official Scrum Guide, the Developers can choose whatever structure they want for the Daily Scrum, as long as it serves the purpose of progressing toward the Sprint Goal and creating a plan for the next day of work.
A common structure to abide by revolves around the 3 questions mentioned earlier (what was done yesterday, what will be done today, and what obstacles are faced).
Here's one practical example of a Daily Scrum. Feel free to use the template!
Daily Standup Meeting Agenda Template
Common Challenges and Solutions
Even the best-planned Daily Standup meetings can encounter challenges. Recognizing and addressing these issues is key to maintaining the effectiveness of your meetings. Here are some common hurdles and strategies to overcome them:
- Challenge: Meetings starting late due to team members not arriving on time.
- Solution: Implement a strict start-time policy. Consider light-hearted penalties for latecomers to encourage punctuality.
- Challenge: Team members giving lengthy updates, causing the meeting to overrun.
- Solution: Set clear expectations for brevity. Use a timer to limit each person's update time. Make sure you only invite the people that need to be there.
- Challenge: Team members disengage after giving their updates, impacting the collaborative spirit.
- Solution: Encourage active listening and engagement throughout the meeting. Consider rotating the facilitator role to keep the format fresh for the entire team.
Remote Scrum Team Participation:
- Challenge: Finding a meeting time that works for everyone in remote teams.
- Solution: Utilize collaboration tools like Trello or ClickUp in addition to the Daily Stand Ups, so that those who can't attend, will communicate online. You can also rotate the meeting time so that everyone will get to join the daily scrum meetings at least some of the time.
Focus on Problem-Solving:
- Challenge: Meetings veering off into problem-solving sessions.
- Solution: Gently steer the conversation back to the agenda. Schedule separate meetings for in-depth discussions on specific issues. End the meeting with a clear understanding of the day’s priorities and any follow-up actions required.
We've shown what the Daily Scrum means, how it can enhance the agile teams' productivity and project clarity, and how to solve common challenges people have in these meetings.
Take whatever advice you need and good luck with the rest of your Sprint!
What is discussed in daily standup?
In a daily standup, team members discuss their recent accomplishments, current tasks, and any challenges or blockers they're facing.
The goal is to provide a quick update on progress and identify any issues that might impede the team’s work. It’s not meant for in-depth problem solving; instead, it's a platform for highlighting critical items that require the team's attention or further discussion outside the standup.
What is a typical stand-up meeting agenda?
The agenda of a daily scrum meeting, often used in Agile and Scrum methodologies, involves each team member answering three specific questions: What they achieved since the last scrum, what they plan to work on until the next one, and any obstacles that might hinder their progress.
This structure keeps the focus on the sprint goals and ensures that the meeting stays relevant and efficient. The scrum master typically facilitates these meetings, ensuring adherence to the timebox and agenda.
This daily meeting format is designed to be concise and typically lasts no more than 15 minutes.
Date: [Insert Date]
Time: [Insert Start Time] - [Insert End Time] (make sure it's the same every day)
Location: [Specify if it's an in-person or virtual meeting and provide necessary details or links] (make sure it's the same every day)
To facilitate a focused discussion on the current progress of the team towards the Sprint Goal and to identify any immediate impediments.
1. Team Updates (1 minute per team member)
- Each member shares:
- What they accomplished yesterday.
- Their focus for today.
- Any immediate blockers or impediments.
2. Focused Discussion on Critical Blockers (5 minutes)
- Delve deeper into significant blockers mentioned in updates.
- Identify necessary follow-up actions.
3. Closing (1 minute)
- Summarize key points and action items from the meeting.
- Confirm the next meeting's details.