How to Make Stand Up Meetings Fun

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Apr 13, 2022
Updated on
Sep 2, 2022
Table of Content

Are your workers standing around, half-interested, just waiting for the meeting to be over so they can do other 'more important' things? Is there a good chance that the attendees show up just for the donuts and coffee? Or maybe because you have made the meetings mandatory and they have no other choice? 

Daily standup meetings can get tiresome very quickly – the same topics, the same people at the same time. But here's the deal: it doesn't have to be that monotonous or boring. Even in corporate settings, you can always add a bit of fun to the daily standups, ensuring that everyone participates to the fullest. 

So, if you have been questioning the effectiveness of your standups, we are here to help. Take a page of these fun questions for team meetings to get them off on the right foot and get your standups off to a productive and positive start.

How to Make Standup Meetings Fun and Engaging?

When done right, daily scrum or standup meetings are one of the most recognizable and effective Agile practices. They have become so common that even non-Agile workplaces use them as an interactive, lightweight way to start the day.

A great standup meeting is focused, engaging and fun and leaves all the team members pumped up for the final day of working collectively. However, like other things, standups can fall flat or be wildly successful based on execution.

So, if you are involved in standup meetings that are missing the mark, here are some fun standup meeting ideas to re-energize your project standup meetings.

Idea 1 – Tease Out Challenges and Ways To Overcome Them

If you are wondering how to make standup meetings fun and interactive, try this exercise.

Tease out team-specific challenges and work out on overcoming them. This will allow everyone to make suggestions and recommendations, giving the Scrum Master transparency and visibility of the members' work.

This activity is an excellent way to begin the meeting with a positive attitude.

Afterward, you can also ask the meeting participants to share a music track and create a playlist that they would like to share with the team. Incorporating these fun team huddle activities and questions in the standups can help improve engagement and communication.

Tip: Ask these questions in your standup meetings. Listen to the answers and see how you can help the team. You can share your favorite tracks, too.

Idea 2 - 360 Degree Appreciation

Introduced by Funretrospectives, this idea is an excellent way to exchange gifts. While it is not a standup meeting activity per se, it is still worth doing.

This activity/game ensures that the teams thank each other for their contributions and express what they appreciate the most about a particular member. It is a good way to speak out and communicate why your teams value each other's work. 

If you want to increase motivation in the workplace, this little activity can help immensely. That's because when people follow one of the principles of 'making someone's day,' their small but significant appreciation gesture can go a long way in helping others feel like all their hard work and dedication has been worth something. 

Encourage attendees to talk about what they think about the contributions of their colleagues, team members, and even other teams. This will open up avenues for fulfilling discussions about who's doing what right and what else they can do to make their contributions count. In fact, give everyone a few papers to write appreciative comments if they aren't comfortable saying things aloud.

Idea 3 – Motivation Monday Questions

Start the week with an optimistic outlook by asking the meeting attendees to share one positive thing about last week along with what they'll be working on/completing today.

Generally, Mondays are slow, and it takes a while for employees to get into the rhythm. However, when you meet the daily Scrum team and start reflecting on the constructive things from the past week, it becomes easier to interact with other team members more effectively.

Also, it's good to have someone help you with facilitating these daily Scrum fun activities. Whether you believe that project managers in Agile teams are an outmoded concept or that your Agile team should have a project manager, consider designating someone responsible for making standup meetings smooth and effective.

Tip: If you ask your team a Monday motivation question that can help you kick start the week, make sure you do this one either on a Monday or maybe when coming back to work after some other long break or a long weekend.

Idea 4 – Incorporate Quick and Fun Standup Questions

What would you be if you were a support ticket?

This is a quick exercise that can trigger everyone to think about how they can improve in the approach to work. For instance, an employee might discover that they should document processes more comprehensively before agreeing to do a task.

This introspection is a vital tool for agile development while keeping the sessions interactive and fun. Irrespective of how good your team is, a bit of constructive self-criticism opens up room for self-awareness and improvement.

In the case of a non-IT team that leverages Agile for its marketing initiatives, it can be challenging to conduct this exercise. Think about how you can adapt your department to this fun activity in a relevant and engaging way.

Tip: These fun standup questions can be a great conversation starter for standups to get people talking! Asking them what support ticket they will be should be pertinent to their respective development area.

Idea 5 – Send Postcards to Former Coworkers Describing the Day at Work Yesterday

Similar to the starting ritual of your meetings, it is also essential to end the standups on a high to ensure that people leave revitalized instead of flat or exhausted.

To accomplish this, you can make everyone send a postcard to their former coworker describing their day at the workplace yesterday. This activity can help attendees harness an optimistic attitude while ending the meeting in a fulfilling way. 

It's good to have different team members read the postcard, and hearing what everybody has written can help you think about different perspectives/opinions astutely and remember them better.

The point of this activity is to make sure the members reflect on how their day went and help you gain valuable insights into what to approach differently to overcome challenges and ensure positive experiences.

Tip: Managers and team leads should also be a part of this activity and write a postcard to a former associate describing what the day was like at work yesterday. This will encourage your employees to be more honest, confident and positive when writing about their day. 

Wrapping Up

There you have it, five quick, fun activities that can help you add value to a shift stand up while letting your days off to a brilliant start! 

To ensure a positive spirit and not just a one-time activity for teams, you can incorporate several icebreaker games or icebreaker questions into stand up meetings. Activities like timed trivia and quick scavenger hunts offer opportunities for everyone to engage and interact. 

Starting your team member's day with a guessing game can also help you boost their mood while setting a positive tone. And as you learn more about your team along the way, you will get a good idea of what they enjoy. Moving forward, this can help you better plan the activities that'll be fruitful.

While these fun team huddle activities add lightness to your daily standup meetings, they also help keep all the attendees involved, so they are excited about the next meeting instead of dreading it. 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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