This guide introduces concepts and a basic model of stand-ups meetings to get you started.
Stand-ups help set direction and focus for the whole team. Use stand-ups as meetings to connect, plan, share updates and roadblocks.
They are useful for:
- communicating important information
- sharing priorities, contributions or highlight progress blockers
- collaboration on issues and tasks
- providing accountability and transparency.
Teams also use stand-ups to track progress and adjust planned work in "sprints". Sprints are specific time periods.
The basic stand-up model
A stand-up meeting is:
- quick and short - for example, 15 minutes
- regular, at the same time and place - for example, daily at 10:00 am
- inclusive - all team members should take part and have their say
- also known as a 'scrum'.
Quick meetings force participants to stay on track and be relevant. A regular schedule sets team habits and expectations of what happens in stand-ups. Some teams use a 'scrum master' to do this.
There are many variations - please adapt this to suit your team. For example, 15 minutes might be too short for a larger team that meets once a week. It is more important that teammates are able to connect and share information.
Organising the stand-up
As the organiser or lead
- Set a regular time for the stand-up.
- If in-person, set the same place or room for all your stand-ups.
- If you're tracking work, use a kanban board which helps organise tasks.
- Before the stand-up, share the team or sprint goals if applicable.
For remote teams
If your team is remote, you may need:
- video conferencing platform with screen sharing
- a digital project board (kanban).
For in-person teams
If your team meets in-person, you may need:
- a meeting space - quiet and in the same place if possible
- a display screen
- a digital project board (kanban).
Running the stand-up
Here are two common methods used to run a stand-up.
3 questions stand-up method
A common method of running the stand-up is to get everyone to answer 3 questions:
- What did I achieve yesterday?
- What will I do today (or focus on today)?
- What obstacles do I have to my work?
The aim is to allow teammates to share insights and information, and get help if needed.
'Walk the board' stand-up method
This method suits teams that have deliverables, sprints and use a kanban board.
Using the board, each team member will discuss their tasks.
- Start with work closest to completion and what the team can do to help finish it.
- Work back through all work and bring up any blockers.
Discussing issues and problem-solving
It is important to stay on track to keep the meeting moving. If you can't solve obstacles quick in stand-up, have a separate meeting.
Some teams set aside a time following the stand-up, called the 'parking lot'. Attendance of the parking lot is voluntary.
Tips for good stand-up
- Focus on the work that's most important or valuable on the day.
- Minimise distractions by mobile phones and emails.
- Make sure everyone gets a go.
- Be polite, considerate and collaborative.
Things to avoid
- Don't describe your schedule for the day or list your upcoming meetings.
- Don't have off-tangent, long discussions. If you need to, have a separate meeting.
- Don't get into social/non-work conversations.
More resources on agile
A kanban board is a project management tool used in agile teams.
Sprints are time-boxed periods during which team tasks will be completed.
A scrum master facilitates the running of a stand-up.
A time set aside, usually immediately after stand-up, to discuss issues outside of stand-up.
Retrospectives (retros) give the team a chance to reflect and share what went well and what didn't.
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