How to conduct an effective stand up meeting

Stand up meetings are an important event that is used in the Scrum methodology. Their primary purpose is to keep the Scrum team updated on the team’s progress.

The stand up meetings are usually held daily and they are alloted short time frames i.e. 15 minutes or less.

But due to their frequency, they can get tedious so it is important that the team remains focused on the objective and makes the most of the allocated time.

But what is a stand up meeting ?

A stand-up meeting is a short meeting that is held by the Scrum team members. Due to its short time frame, these meeting are usually held with the team standing up, hence the name – Stand Up Meeting.

Even though, many people now sit down for the Stand Up meeting, the name stuck.

The goal of the meeting is to briefly describe the status of the assigned user stories, i.e. if they are finished, in progress, or are about to be started

So how do you conduct a Stand-up Meeting ?

The stand-up meeting is meant to be brief and focused on the team’s progress. The Scrum Master is responsible for conducting the meeting so they should ensure that they keep the meeting concise and straight to the point.

The Scrum Master should start planning the stand up meeting by choosing a convenient location and meeting time for all the team members.

If you have team members with different resumption times, ensure that you pick a time when they would all be in to work. The same idea applies if you have team members in different time zones.

Once the meeting is scheduled, the Scrum Master should ensure that the team stays focused by answering the following questions :

  1. What did you accomplish yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. What obstacles, if any, are impeding your progress?

All the team members should ensure that they attend the meeting on time to shows that they respect their team members time.

Each member should be assigned a couple of minutes to provide their updates and they should be called on to provide their updates based on the order of their names on the Scrum board.

When the team members are discussing their progress, they might get carried away and want to discuss details but the Scrum Master should try to keep them on track by asking them to take it “Offline”.

Taking it “Offline” means that the team member should schedule another meeting with the appropriate team members to discuss their encountered issues in more detail.

While this might discourage some of the team members, the Scrum Master should remind them that the Stand Up meeting is a short one and other team members also have to provide their updates.

Assigning a timer that rings after the alloted time is up, can also help keep the team focused and aware of the time limit.

In Conclusion

The stand-up meeting can be used to keep the team aligned on their progress but it has to be conducted effectively to ensure that it achieves its goal.