Daily standup meetings are an essential component of agile team management. They are focused on tracking the progress of each team member working on a project. Team leaders (and scrum masters) need the daily stand-ups to understand each team member’s efforts, as well as the obstacles they might run into.
In this article, we are going to discuss daily standups in an agile environment. What does a daily standup entail? How can you benefit from conducting a daily standup? We will also look at some of the best practices for daily stand-ups in agile. Let’s dive in:
What is Daily Standup in Agile?
Agile Daily Standup meetings are short meetings that team leaders use to track the progress of a project. Each member of an agile team is expected to give a status update on a project. As the name suggests, most of these meetings take place with the attendees standing up– this ensures that the meetings do not take any longer than they should.
As the team leader, you must develop a solid agenda for daily stand-ups, as well as a structure to follow.
Daily Standup Types - Scrum Standup vs Kanban Standup
You will choose the best type of daily standup based on the nature of the project at hand. You can either go with Scrum standup or Kanban standup.
Scrum standup focuses only on the status update on a project. It follows a simple structure where each member answers these three questions:
- What did you work on since the last standup?
- What will you work on today?
- What obstacles are standing in the way of completing tasks?
This is all well and good, but if you want to go above and beyond, an excellent ice breaker will help your team settle in. Find something fun and engaging to make your daily agile standups enjoyable. For instance, appreciate the other team leaders and introduce a speaking tone. You could do something like passing around a ball to signify whose turn it is to talk.
Kanban standup meetings focus on discussing and resolving the team’s issues while working. The Kanban standups are primarily used in the software development industry for continuous improvement of work processes.
When is the best time to hold a daily standup?
Daily standup meetings allow team members to update one another on their work progress.
Conducting daily agile stand-up in the morning reflects on the work that’s already done. It also helps you strategize for the day, as well as for the scope of the upcoming tasks toward project completion.
Note that these meetings are restricted to 15 minutes, where every team member gets a chance to speak. The time is limited to accommodate only relevant information only. This means that if your team has other issues, you should arrange another meeting for such discussions.
In any case, once you decide on the time for the daily standup - keep it as is. Running the daily standup “at the same place at the same time” everyday will allow it to become a regular routine no one misses.
Best practices for daily standup meetings
Now that you understand how daily standups impact your project delivery, let’s discuss the best practices for daily standups:
- Define your daily standup agenda
- Follow up on recurring issues
- Accommodate remote team members
Define your daily standup meeting agenda
You should establish your daily scrum meeting plan early enough to prevent irrelevant discussions at the standup. Remember– you have less than 15 minutes to let your team communicate their progress and challenges.
In a basic setup, the agenda is for each team member to answer the three questions we discussed earlier:
what did each member do yesterday?
What are they doing today?
What are the blockers toward project completion?
A good structure for daily agile standups includes scheduling at consistent timing. This will help your team to stay organized and punctual. Also, maintain your leadership so that everyone gets to speak and focus on the purpose of the meeting.
Follow up on recurring issues
Agile team management is all about speeding up the productivity of your team. However, do not ignore recurring issues delaying completion. For instance, your marketing manager could be delaying working on a newsletter. Perhaps, they keep telling you that they are working on the template for three days in a row. Follow up with them and identify why they are delaying on a single task. This way, you can work with them to resolve the obstacle.
It is crucial to ensure that everyone gets to speak at your daily scrum meetings.
Accommodate remote team members
Working with remote teams is now more common than ever. Working with remote teams means having video conferencing in your daily agile stand-ups. In addition, every team member must attend and share a status update on their assigned tasks.
You may also consider displaying your task board at the daily agile meetings. They will help you identify tasks that may need refocusing.
Final thoughts about running a daily standup
Agile team management enhances collaboration between team members faster delivery. Daily agile standups focus on frequent status updates to promote transparency and align the work of each team member to the goals of the project and the company. Running daily standup meetings allow you to team members whenever they encounter blockers and then follow up their progress. Agile daily standups also promote accountability at the workplace. Each member has to share their progress and other critical information with the others. This kind of transparency promotes trust among team members, which enhances team collaboration.