15 points for effective daily stand up meetings (scrum)

  1. Start the meeting on time and finish it on time. Some teams do it at the beginning of the day. Some do it by 11 a.m. Some do it towards the end of the day. This can be a challenge when you have teams working from two different geographies with time zone differences. Choose the time slot that works for you, and stick to it, till it works, and when it does not work for some reason change the time of the meeting.
  2. Like every other ceremony of scrum, the daily stand up meeting is also time boxed into a maximum of 20 minutes. That means, for a ten member team, each person gets approximately 2 minutes to update the status of his/her work to the rest of the team (what did I do yesterday, what am I doing today and what are the issues I am facing. If the stand up meeting is exceeding the time box of 20 minutes, then correct it.
  3. Do not convert the daily stand up meeting into issue resolution meeting. Sometimes, logistically it is convenient to have the issue resolution meeting immediately after the daily scrum. In that case, conclude the daily scrum (daily stand up meeting) formally, before starting the issue resolution meeting, so that only those required need to participate in the second meeting and all others can go back to work.
  4. As in every other meeting, during the daily scrum also, the team members tend to talk to the senior most person in the group. In that case deliberately cut the eye contact with that person so that he/she will be forced to have eye contact with the rest of the team. This is the team’s meeting, just to see the status of the project together. By talking to the manager / scrum master, you are again falling back to the command and control mode, rather than the desired self organized teams.
  5. Please remember that going for a meeting late or skipping an agreed upon meeting are not positive indicators of mutual respect. Exceptions are fine, but if not controlled they can become the rule.If somebody violates the meeting norms anyone in the team can highlight it so that the correction happens then and there itself, before it becomes a team norm.
  6. Every one must stand up during the stand up meeting. There is a purpose for having a stand up meeting, instead of a sit down meeting. The objective is to have a quick and effective meeting within twenty minutes. Those lethargic souls and bodies, please excuse.
  7. Switch off mobiles. There is nothing more irritating than the mobile rings. These break the tempo and rhythm of communication. Even worse is answering the phone calls during the meeting.
  8. Demonstrate mutual respect and team work. When a person talks (updates his work status), listen with an intent to understand, and help, if required.
  9. Stand up in a circle, so that there is no hierarchy.
  10. Do not stand with the boss on one side and others on the other side.  This creates a divide.
  11. Who will start the meeting?. The person standing on the right side or left side of the scrum master, or on the left side. Go clock wise or anti clock wise, but have a norm, that is very important.
  12. Whenever someone requests help / highlight the challenges faced, note it down with an intent to help him/her. Remember, success of the sprint is joint responsibility.
  13. Always have the scrum meeting near the tracking board.
  14. If there are any action items for the scrum master, and if the scrum master is not available in the meeting (as per the latest scrum guide, scrum master’s presence is not mandatory in every scrum meeting), assign tasks to the scrum master, immediately after the daily scrum or just after it, so that she can work on them.
  15. Conclude the meeting by putting your hands together for the progress made. Celebrate even small achievements. Small achievements leads to big success stories.

Trust this helps.


Published by Project Management Research Institute

Project Management Research Institute, a not for profit organization involved in collaborative research, development and deployment of customer centric project management solutions.

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