Having a truly Agile Stand-Up Meeting

Stand-up meetings have become a mainstay of daily agendas as work teams search for ways to stay connected efficiently, working together seamlessly while ensuring meetings don’t linger.

We were reflecting on our own environment and wanted to share a few ideas.

Definition of a Stand Up meeting: A short meeting to assess progress. Typically lasting 15 minutes or less, they involve :

  • describing work that has been done,
  • work still to be done,
  • and any problems being encountered.

In our environment, like many teams, we have people working on different projects or pieces of work.   The stand-up meeting is an opportunity to review that work as a group, leveraging the team’s collective knowledge and experience.  Stand-up meetings offer a means to address risks in our own work, and explore where other team members may be able to help unblock any impediments we may have.

Scrum Theory


Scrum Theory provides a structure for the meeting.  The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum team. One person takes on this role to facilitate each meeting.  Over successive meetings, this can rotate amongst team members.

Daily Scrum (aka Daily Stand-Up) 

This is the 15-minute time-boxed event for the team and is used to plan work for the next 24 hours.  This optimises team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Stand-Up and forecasting upcoming work.

  • These meetings should be recurring at the same time, so everyone is able to allocate the time to them well in advance.  Early mornings are common and they can work well over conferencing tools like MS-Teams.
  • Making it a stand-up meeting means no one gets too comfortable, the meeting is short and it starts on time.  If a team member is yet to make their coffee or tea, they can wait until after the meeting rather than hold everyone up.
  • If issues arise that need further debate, then take them out of the stand-up meeting and schedule them at another time, even immediately after the daily scrum.  Don’t let issues derail the efficient meeting.
Each team member has 2 minutes to cover:
  • What did I do yesterday that helped my client(s) meet their goals?
  • What will I do today to help my client(s) meet their goals?
  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or my client(s) from meeting their goals?

 

(NB: Client(s) can be internal to your organisation or external.)

It’s vital every team member respects their colleagues and comes prepared for the meeting so you can keep to the allocated 15-minute time-box.  The aim is a short, effective meeting that creates awareness, shares ideas and empowers people to get through their tasks efficiently.