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What is daily standup?

Definition: Daily Standup is a daily meeting held among team members to communicate what they have accomplished since the last standup, what they plan to work on, and which obstacles they may be facing.

The daily standup is important for teams to stay on track and ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goal. It is also a way for team members to provide support and assistance to each other, helping to identify and overcome any challenges that may arise.

Elements of a daily standup

A daily standup meeting has three key elements:

  • Updates: Each team member provides a brief report on what they accomplished since the last standup and what they plan to work on next. This helps the team stay informed about each other's progress and ensures that everyone is on track.
  • Assignments: The team identifies and assigns action items that will be worked on until the next daily standup. By setting clear goals and deadlines, the whole team knows what to work on.
  • Obstacles: Teams share any obstacles or challenges they may be facing, giving the team an opportunity to offer support and assistance. This helps identify potential roadblocks and find solutions before they become major problems.

Example of a best practice daily standup

Mindmes’s team is working on a new feature for the company website, and for the duration of the project they are having daily standups to keep everyone updated and on track.

Daily standup meeting agenda

  • Review of yesterday's progress 
  • Discussion of any challenges or roadblocks encountered 
  • Updates on current tasks, priorities, and project changes
  • Identification of any potential issues 
  • Discussing upcoming project deadlines 
  • Review of today's tasks, goals, and objectives

Daily standup meeting structure 

The meeting begins by going one by one. Each team member reports on their progress from the previous day briefly. This is done concisely, with each member only speaking for a few minutes. 

After everyone has reported on their progress, the team discusses any challenges or roadblocks that they encountered and how they addressed or resolved them. This allows the team to discuss the best course of action that should be taken.

After the discussion, each team member updates the team on their current tasks and what are their priorities, ensuring everyone is on the same page. The project manager informs the team of the current state of the project and if any changes are being made to the initial plan.

Throughout the meeting, potential risks or issues that may impact the team's progress are identified and discussed. This can include dependencies on other teams or external factors affecting the project's timeline. 

At the end of the meeting, each team member presents their tasks for today, ensuring everyone understands who will be working on which part of the project.

Common drawbacks of daily standups and how to overcome them

While there are many benefits to daily standups, they also come with drawbacks that can make them not as productive.

These drawbacks include:

  • Long meetings: This happens when the meeting doesn’t have a clear structure, and the participants are left feeling unproductive. To overcome this, a standup should have a time limit for each participant to speak. Longer meetings should be reseved for weekly standups.
  • Lack of participation: Participants can be hesitant to speak when discussing a roadblock. To overcome this, ask for the opinions of the participants that aren’t participating in the discussion.
  • Repetitive updates: If a participant gives the same update every day, the meetings become repetitive and unproductive. To overcome this, encourage participants to report on different aspects or details of their work.
  • Lack of focus: Daily standups can lose their purpose when participants go into unrelated discussions and conversations. To overcome this, interrupt the discussions and bring the team back to the topic at hand.
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Article FAQs

Who should attend a daily standup meeting?
A daily standup meeting is attended by all the members of the same team or project. It is important for all team members who are actively working on the project to attend these meetings to ensure collaboration and progress.
How long do daily standup meetings last?
Daily standups usually last around 15 minutes, and the goal of the meeting is for everyone to focus and finish everything quickly so that they can start working on their tasks as soon as possible. But if a team member has an obstacle that impairs their work, these meetings can last longer as the team has to come up with solutions to the obstacle.
What are the common mistakes of daily standup meetings?
The most common mistake include needing a clear agenda and goal for the meeting, allowing team members to go on a tangent instead of focusing on action items, leading to confusion, disorganized reports, and not knowing the obstacles needed to be overcome.
Are daily standups a waste of time?
If done well, daily standups aren’t a waste of time. They provide teams with the chance to organize their efforts and deal with problems they are facing. However, they can end up being a waste of time if they are not carried out well.
What is the difference between a daily standup and a daily scrum?
A daily standup is a brief meeting for coordinating and collaborating with your team. A daily scrum is a meeting that follows the Scrum framework that focuses on accountability and progress. The key difference between them is the framework and approach.
Can you have asynchronous daily standups for remote teams?
Yes, it’s possible to have asynchronous daily standups for remote teams. Instead of holding these meetings in real-time, team members will share their updates in other ways using tools such as forms, threads, email…

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