Whether they are remote or in-person, daily standups help Agile teams quickly plan out their workday. The goal of the standup is to keep everyone informed and united as a team.
Your daily standup should give each person present a chance to answer these questions:
Daily standups are intentionally short (15 minutes) to help your team maintain energy. A longer meeting held every day could cause your team to get bored with or burnt out on meetings. That said, despite your best intentions, any daily meeting has the potential to grow stale over time.
If you find yourself heading into your daily standup with indifference, then you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn how you can improve your daily standups.
A successful daily standup is one in which every person in attendance participates. You may notice over time that some team members are not as engaged as others. This is normal on occasion. However, there are some ways you can help encourage participation.
Strive to create an environment where everyone is comfortable sharing their progress.
One portion of the daily standup involves identifying if there are any blockers that might be slowing down or preventing progress on work. It’s important to identify blockers during the meeting so that they can either quickly be resolved during the meeting or shortly after.
Here are a couple of suggestions to make this process as efficient as possible:
Note that not all blockers will be solvable right away. If the issue is more complex, then consider scheduling time outside of the daily standup to resolve issues based on their urgency. Always try your best to be respectful of everyone’s time and stick to the 15-minute standup timeframe.
Some team members may arrive at the daily standup and want to have a casual conversation to start the day. This is fine for those who arrive early, but don’t let it derail your daily standup.
Note that side conversations will also be more meaningful when you dedicate time to them.
It’s pretty much assumed that you should hold your daily standup near the start of everyone’s work day. But that doesn’t necessarily work for all teams. If you notice a couple team members struggling to arrive at the designated time or if conversation is difficult, consider reaching out to see if there is a better time for everyone to meet. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit.
It’s possible the timing of daily standups will vary based on individual projects or stages of work. Ultimately, you want to find a meeting time that helps your team stay focused and on track.
If your team does like to engage in more casual conversation prior to diving into the work discussion, then you may want to consider quick warm-up (or wind-down) prompts.
Also consider celebrating milestones, including team and individual team member wins. This could be overcoming a roadblock or just excelling at the work being done. People tend to be more engaged when they feel recognized for the hard work they are putting into a project.
If you find that your daily standup goes on longer than planned each day, then you may want to set some sort of alarm or notification that represents a hard start or stop for the meeting.
Start the countdown. Consider displaying a visible 10-to-30-second countdown that signals it’s time to wrap up side conversations and start the daily standup.
That’s a wrap. Always aim to end your daily standups on time. Enforcing a hard stopping point for your meetings may even encourage more active participation.
If your daily standups are constantly going over 15 minutes, then it’s time to re-evaluate.
You should be holding a retrospective after every sprint. This is a time to look back on the previous sprint and gauge what went well and what did not go well. You can also include time for reflection on daily standups held during a sprint in your retrospective. Just like any other aspect of the process, it’s important to reflect on your daily standups and identify ways to improve.
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