Daily Stand up: What all you should know about Daily Stand Ups

There are various ceremonies advised in Scrum framework like Sprint planning, Stand up, Retrospective and Sprint review. All these ceremonies have different purposes and outcomes. Today I going to talk about the ceremonies which happens every day once the sprint starts and i.e. Daily Stand up or Stand up.

Daily stand up is basically an opportunity for team to connect regularly and share individual updates with team. It has become more crucial in current scenario where everybody is working remotely and people are usually connecting in meetings only. In such times, daily stand up meeting should be run more effectively and active participation from team plays an important role here.

People run stand up in various ways, some would use it as a team discussion forum, and some would use it as updates to management where the delivery manager/project manager/lead would ask updates to team members on each items and if there is some variations they would give some set of instructions and once they are done with taking updates the meeting gets over.

|| So what is Daily Stand up meeting is exactly?

As per my understanding, a daily stand up meeting is an opportunity to connect regularly, get awareness on progress all the team members are making to achieve the sprint goal. So basically team’s status update should revolve around Sprint goal, what each of the team member has done since last stand up and what they are planning to do today and what impediments/challenges team members are facing to achieve the sprint.

It is daily planning meeting based on the concept of ‘Inspect and Adapt’. Post updates from everyone, team assesses the situation and see if there is any change required in current strategy or plan?  Any practice need to stop immediately or should correct some course of action? So team analyse all scenarios and based on that would proceed further.

|| What a Daily Stand up is NOT?

  1. Daily Stand up meeting is not a meeting to give update to the manager or lead. It is meeting for meeting for team to get situation awareness on progress made/being made towards Sprint goal. Though managers/leads can come to these meetings for getting team’s updates but they would remain silent listener till the time team finishes their updates. Post updates managers can ask details about team’s updates or team also can ask any questions to them. But it should strictly happen about team finishes their updates. It’s team’s time and nobody should interfere while team giving updates.
  2. It is not a discussion forum where people start getting into discussions and overshoot the stand up time. Again first team should finish their updates and post that whoever are required for discussion can stay and others can drop from the meeting. Even sometimes team members also start asking question immediately after their updates and other team members get temptation to answer the question. Here Scrum master need to vigilant and ask team members to park such discussion till the end of Stand up.

Scrum Master plays very important role while facilitating this ceremony. For a new team, it takes a good amount of time to get the discipline in team to stick to the agenda and just talk about their stories/task and have alignment with sprint goal. Initially team members would have lot of questions which they want to clarify while giving their updates, also there are other team members who wants to provide solution. Scrum Master needs to pitch in here and make sure that all team members are finishing their updates first and nobody is waiting because of these discussions. One way to handle such situations is having a working agreement created with team which talks about what to do if such situations arise. Scrum Master can use this working agreement as a guide for team. So creating a comprehensive working agreement at the start would help the team in long run to have discipline and running the ceremonies effectively.

Hope this information would help you. Thanks.