Three Characteristics of an Effective Daily Standup Meeting


In agile software development, the daily standup meeting serves as one of the primary paths of communication for a scrum team.  Team members gather either physically or virtually for 15 minutes during each workday.   An effective standup meeting is one that is focused, lean, and productive.

Focused.  Make sure each person has a platform to talk. Each person on the team should do the following:

  1. Discuss progress made since the last stand-up.
  2. Commit to work to be done before the next stand-up.
  3. List any obstacles and ask for help where needed.

Team members should leave the scrum standup with a better understanding of where the team stands, how they can best contribute, and a sense of help coming for obstacles.

Lean.   The scrum stand-up meeting should cover the topics above, but should not be used for additional design work, sizings, etc.   This work can be done after the standup, but should come after everyone has covered the core topics.

Productive.  Team members should be attentive – everyone is on the hook to deliver committed items as a team.  Team members should learn from one another.  The stand-up is a great place to learn about areas that you are not as strong in, and develop understanding of new concepts.   Finally, the stand-up should be a forum where you can bring problems and obstacles and expect help.   Team members can help with technical challenges for team members new to the organization or to a technical area.   The scrum master can help with interfering requests, dependencies, equipment needs, etc.

As a scrum master or scrum team member, if you strive to for each standup meeting to be focused, lean and productive, you should see team members begin to enjoy attending and benefit greatly from daily stand-ups.



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