Daily standups are the main subject of many discussions and conversations among scrum and agile teams. These meetings help organizations align efforts to meet sprint goals by answering simple questions.
However, finding the best daily standup format for your daily scrums is more challenging than you may think. Why? Because there are many different formats of daily standup meetings to choose from.
With so many options, developing the most effective scrum daily standup agenda for your organization can become a tedious task. In fact, many agile teams report that their daily standup meetings are nothing but a waste of time. They don’t see how standups can benefit their mutual efforts to accomplish a common goal, which is a big problem.
Today, we’ll delve deeper into different agile daily standup agenda formats to help you find an ideal solution for your development team and avoid all the common issues.
What is the daily standup agenda?
A daily standup agenda is a meeting format that helps agile teams discuss ongoing tasks and potential obstacles in less than 15 minutes. This meeting agenda helps development teams find the best ways to address project-related issues that can prevent progress.
How does the daily standup agenda work?
The daily standup agenda helps the development team handle their project management needs.
You can see it as a meeting plan that brings the entire team together and helps every team member to:
Stay up to date with the latest events;
Connect with the project manager;
Invest a mutual effort toward accomplishing sprint goals.
It ensures that everyone in your team stays on schedule by tracking their previous accomplishments, ongoing tasks, and potential obstacles that may interfere with goal completion. ganization. By empowerin
In addition, the agenda for daily standup determines the most effective daily standup format for your team. It helps you keep your daily schedule and calendar up to date with the latest project-related events.
Business teams increasingly rely on daily standup tools to set their direction for every project they’re working on, provide status updates, and make the most out of the meeting time they have at their disposal.
Structure of daily standup agenda
There are two popular ways to run your agile daily standup agenda – Walking the Board and Round Robin.
The first approach gathers your team to discuss all action items on task boards from left to right. Start the discussion with the items that are closest to completion. The second approach involves presenting your team with the three standard questions regarding previous tasks, ongoing events, and potential obstacles.
Teammates go around a circle in order and share their updates. Though the second approach tends to be most popular among developers, many agile teams don’t find it as effective as it should be. The main issue here is that team members don’t pay enough attention to the main points others are saying.
Since every participant needs to think twice about every action item they want to address when their turn comes, they don’t focus on what others find important. The problem is that this can easily turn a 15-minute into a lengthy discussion that takes time most teams can’t afford to lose.
With all that in mind, here are a few quick tips to help you determine the best structure for your team’s daily standup agenda and run your standups with confidence.
Determine who should participate in a daily standup meeting
Your daily standup meetings should include the product owner, scrum master, and development team. By carefully assessing who should attend these meetings, you can add more value and context to goals on your daily schedule. Think carefully about who should participate and whether to invite anyone else outside your team.
Find the most convenient meeting time
Whether you prefer standups in person or online meetings, try to run your gatherings at the same time and place. That can help you avoid potential issues and reduce complexity. Mornings are generally the best time for a meeting, be it in person or an asynchronous standup.
Virtual meetings are the best standup format for running a remote team. You can use agile project management tools like Slack and Ayanza to ensure your teammates meet daily goals, honor the time limit, and address real issues.
This daily scrum meeting tip can help you avoid the common pitfall of turning a daily team meeting into a tedious conversation with no end in sight. A non-trivial benefit of finding the best meeting time for everyone is getting quick progress updates without disrupting daily workflows.
Keep your daily standups under 15 minutes
Ideally, a daily standup should last anywhere between 10–15 minutes. However, that would depend on the size of your team. For example, smaller teams of up to four members can run a daily meeting in 5–10 minutes.
However, larger teams need more time because every team member must get a chance to speak their mind. Anything more than 15 minutes can become tedious and mentally draining and cause your team to lose time, energy, and focus.
Remember, a daily standup isn’t a status meeting. It’s a quick gathering to address the project goal by answering cornerstone questions. Anything more than that should be left for more elaborate discussions. If a daily update turns into a lengthy discussion, the entire meeting will go off track, and you’ll accomplish nothing.
Benefits of following structured daily standup agenda
Let’s quickly touch upon the key benefits and advantages of tapping into a structured daily standup agenda.
Clarify sprint and daily goals
Daily standups are perfect for ensuring your team clearly understands sprint and daily goals.
More importantly, it helps you ensure every team member is on the same page regarding daily tasks before they get to work.
In addition, you can introduce new tasks as they arise and address potential issues before they interrupt daily workflows.
Motivate teammates to give their best
Motivating your team at the start of the day is an excellent way to refresh your team’s energy and prepare your teammates to give 101% to accomplish daily tasks.
You can also encourage your team to keep meeting the daily target by discussing individual accomplishments and encouraging achievements.
Promote accountability to address problems
Promote a healthy and positive company culture by putting an equal emphasis on failure and success. However, avoid stigmatizing individual team members who didn’t meet target goals.
Instead, try to work out the potential blockers that prevented them from accomplishing individual goals to show appreciation for their efforts. Aside from holding team members accountable for their actions and motivating them to work harder, your team will get a chance to address real problems and overcome them as a team.
Empower project understanding
It’s easy to lose yourself in all your daily tasks while working on large projects. Thankfully, you can keep sight of the priorities by practicing an effective agile methodology and daily standup agenda.
We recommend choosing the best AI project management tool for your project team to avoid disrupting the team dynamic in your software development organization. By empowering project understanding and knowledge, you increase the chance to identify and address every agile item on your ongoing project board.
According to the scrum methodology, the standup format should help provide some clarity in a few ways:
Your team can get familiar with the project details overall;
Team members get a bigger picture of how their individual efforts fit into the final outcome;
Teammates can get on the same page regarding ongoing goals, daily responsibilities, deadlines, and client requirements.
Ultimately, this understanding is paramount to keeping your team up to date and ensuring everyone gives their maximum. In addition, showing where you are within the project timeline empowers your team to solve problems better and meet shared goals.
Though daily standups and daily scrums may seem like the same thing, they are different. In daily scrum vs standup comparison, daily standups cater to the meeting needs of your entire team. Daily scrums, on the other hand, address the individual needs of your teammates and generally revolve around developers.
Reduce meetings overall
There’s a reason why daily standups last only 15 minutes. They are supposed to help teammates share daily updates, discuss problems, and align their efforts toward accomplishing a common goal. That way, every team member gets accurate insights into ongoing tasks, potential problems, and the project deadline. In the long run, this saves time and reduces meetings overall.
Top 15 daily standup agenda formats which inspire your team
We’ve gathered a list of the most effective standup agenda formats to re-energize your meetings and help your team stay focused. We’ll briefly touch upon them to present you with multiple daily standup solutions to help you make the most use of your meeting time.
1. Standard daily scrum standup questions
The most common daily standup agenda with three questions is one of the most popular types of team meeting format. It involves asking three questions during the standup:
What tasks did you complete yesterday?
What are your tasks for today?
Are there any obstacles or blockers preventing you from accomplishing your target?
This standup format requires your team members to go around a circle providing their insights, one teammate at a time. Though this format may not work for every agile team, it can be an excellent starting point for those new to scrum and agile methodology. Stand up meeting questions are ideal for identifying and addressing potential issues in the early stages of project management.
Experienced teams typically find their daily meetings more fruitful and effective when they solve problems with these prompts. However, the format also has a common pitfall – it can quickly turn your standup into a lengthy, time-consuming, and boring status update.
We recommend focusing on helping your teammates identify real issues and moving forward instead of endlessly discussing previous achievements.
2. The wins and blockers standup format
This daily standup format allows you to prioritize two important things:
Important progress updates and team accomplishments;
Obstacles that keep individual teammates from completing project-related tasks.
Daily standups provide an opportunity to gather your team and discuss the best ways to accomplish a common goal. By discussing daily tasks and problems, you empower your team to detect problems early on and mitigate them before they escalate beyond repair.
Development teams face many problems at every stage of project completion. Waiting until the end of a project to deal with obstacles can only worsen the situation.
Daily standups also help keep your team motivated mid-sprint and create a positive working environment where team members can encourage each other, share their accomplishments, and help those who can’t resolve blockers.
You can gather your team and divide the meeting into two sections:
The accomplishment section, where you invite your teammates to share their achievements;
The blocker section, where team members discuss potential problems, obstacles, etc.
3. The lean coffee daily standup format
The third daily standup format option on our list is an agenda-less type of team meeting where you let your team anonymously choose the topics they want to address. Instead of acting on a plan, each teammate chooses the topic they want to discuss.
The non-obvious benefit of the lean coffee format is that it allows your team to focus on real obstacles rather than simply sharing individual status updates. The meeting leader simply prompts the team to share what’s on everyone’s mind and lets each participant take it from there.
4. The tactical daily standup meeting format
The daily tactical meeting format is an excellent alternative to short daily meetings. They share the same goals as your regular daily standup with one small difference – their purpose is to address issues and remove blockers.
Instead of asking the three questions, the tactical meeting allows your team to identify problems, remove obstacles, and move forward on the project timeline. There’s another, more significant difference between tactical meetings and daily standups – the meeting frequency.
In a daily standup, teams run meetings every day at the same time. In a tactical meeting, you gather your teammates once a week.
As for the tactical meeting agenda format, consider the following options:
Check-in – invite team members to confirm their participation by identifying distractions or replying to any of the icebreaker questions;
Checklist – your team revisits recurring items to check the completion status and determine the best course of action for each item;
Metrics review – a teammate shares their status update on the key metric for the day and the week;
Individual updates – each team member reports on their efforts to meet the common sprint goal;
Identify problems – problem identification or triage is a vital part of a daily standup, as it allows teammates to clarify issues and establish mutual collaboration to bring each item closer to completion.
5. Needs-based standup format
This daily standup format requires gathering your team only when there are enough problems to necessitate a meeting. Triggering standups only when it’s necessary has its advantages. For example, the needs-based standup format allows you to break free from the clock and the calendar.
Instead of wasting time on daily meetings, you can gather only where necessary. In addition, need-based standups allow you to run threaded conversations and address each issue as it arises. Tools like Slack are perfect for needs-based standups.
You can open a dedicated channel for standups and set a common goal for your team. Then, you assign standup participants to the channel and give them permission to add items to the convo thread asynchronously.
When your team hits the goal target, the person who last added an item schedules a standup meeting. The needs-based standup format provides an additional benefit of having a ready-made meeting agenda based on the common goal in the conversation thread.
6. Replace a standup with a sit-down
We’ve all heard about daily standups, but what about daily sit-downs? All daily standup meetings follow the invisible agile methodology rule about standing in a daily standup. That’s why it’s called a standup.
However, this rule isn’t set in stone. It doesn’t guarantee meeting efficiency and effectiveness. The only irreversible standup rule is keeping the meeting short. How you choose to run your daily standups is your thing entirely, so instead of standing, consider the sit-down format for your daily standup meetings.
Let’s see things this way. Standing up in a meeting isn’t a surefire way to limit a standup to the 15-minute timebox. In addition, it could negatively reflect on the mood of your team members, especially if you force a standup on them on a daily basis.
Sitting in a comfortable environment, on the other hand, can help your team relax and get the conversation going. Instead of a formal and boring meeting, you can turn a daily standup into an interesting and pleasing event.
7. The traffic lights standup format
This daily standup format relies on using colors to let your team members express their feelings about their work. Each teammate can use the classic green, amber, and red colors to show their emotions regarding the work in progress.
While the purpose of daily standups is to track and monitor progress, these meetings should also be about team collaboration efforts. Team members should support and encourage each other. When one team member runs into a problem, the team should invest a mutual effort to overcome the issue and show emotional support for every individual.
The traffic lights standup format comes down to asking your team members how they feel about their tasks today. Green stands for ok, amber for potential issues, and red for problems that need immediate attention. Start your daily standup by addressing the “red” teammates first.
Talk about the reasons they selected the red color. Perhaps they’re just feeling frustrated, or they’ve run into a problem they can’t solve alone. This standup format prioritizes your team’s mental health rather than the project’s progress.
If your team isn’t doing very well emotionally, they’ll hardly be able to overcome challenges and meet deadlines. The traffic lights standups are also ideal for having deeper conversations with your team and establishing more meaningful connections with each team member.
8. The weekly standup format
The weekly standup format allows you to schedule weekly meetings instead of daily standups. Running daily standups at the same time and place every day can quickly turn the meeting into a boring event.
It becomes a habit that doesn’t require much effort, thought, or planning. However, you can refresh your meetings by introducing weekly wrap-ups. Keep in mind that standups require a consistent meeting cadence.
However, be prepared to introduce changes if the current daily cadence still doesn’t fit well with your team dynamic. Lower the meeting frequency if daily standups don’t give the desired results. Instead of gathering once a day, try gathering once a week.
Some companies like experimenting with the weekly standup format by changing the meeting duration and format each week. In addition, some organizations include additional activities, such as training sessions.
9. The user story first standup format
The classic daily scrum format involves the development team. Developers gather, discuss ongoing tasks, mention problems, and try to find solutions as quickly as possible. However, the agile methodology evolved from product-focused to customer-centric.
Today, it’s all about bringing more value to your customers. So, instead of focusing on the project, try to focus on the customer by going over the current sprint backlog items and discussing user stories.
Talk through all the action items on the task board by checking their completion or priority status. Allow individual team members working on each item to voice their opinion on the impediments and the best course of action. This standup format focuses on the work and the progress rather than on plain updates and individual accomplishments.
10. The daily wrap-ups standup format
You can replace your regular daily standups with short but effective daily wrap-ups. Instead of running a meeting in the morning, you can do your wrap-up at the end of the day to ensure your project team stays ahead of the progress and daily accomplishments.
This standup format has some similarities with the three questions daily standup with a slight difference – it involves different types of questions. Instead of asking about previous accomplishments, current tasks, and potential blockers, you can shape your questions differently to avoid repetition.
For example, you can ask if there’s anything worth sharing or if any teammate feels like sharing feedback on particular matters. You can conclude the meeting by offering help or assigning more experienced team members to urgent matters. The daily wrap-up format can help you keep things fresh and introduce a healthy dose of surprise and variety.
It can also help reduce the need for mechanical behavior and forced responses. Your team can tap into this daily standup format to focus on what the entire team needs rather than simply sharing individual status updates.
11. Walking the board standup format
The walking the board standup format follows the action items on your Kanban or Sprint board. You drive the standup agenda by discussing these items instead of focusing on basic questions or individual issues.
This standup format helps you focus on your team as a whole and discuss the progress and accomplishments of team members. However, instead of asking about individual tasks and problems, you ask the entire team about the things that require immediate attention.
In addition, this format requires you to start the meeting from the right side of the task board. The discussion should start with the most urgent items that are closest to completion and the blockers that stand in the way of completing them today.
Then, walk the board from right to left to include all items in the discussion. A good thing about this approach is that your team can focus more on collaboration rather than on individual progress and contribution.
12. The asynchronous standup format
Nowadays, remote teams have a wide range of daily standup tools at their disposal. These tools empower your virtual team to run standup meetings asynchronously.
Running an async remote meeting gives you several benefits:
Everyone can join a meeting at their own pace;
All teammates can share their contribution at the most convenient time that best suits their energy rhythm, workflow, and lifestyle;
Since they are more inclusive, remote meetings empower introverts to speak their mind without fear of peer-by-peer stigma;
You can document and track all shared information in your daily meetings since the daily standup tools can gather all meeting-related data into a searchable, shareable, and linkable knowledge base.
The async standup format also improves team accountability by ensuring everyone reads each others’ updates. That way, you can ensure every teammate stays up-to-date with everyone else’s input.
13. The blockers-first standup format
This standup format focuses on the real issues, roadblocks, and obstacles rather than on previous accomplishments and ongoing contributions. The blockers-first meeting discusses the blocked issues first by allowing teammates to elaborate on individual blockers.
Tackling your team’s challenges first helps you prioritize and address problems as they arise. You can use an online Kanban board with “blocked” and “completed” columns to create a daily standup agenda and find solutions to individual problems before they go beyond repair.
14. The built-in prep standup format
If none of the formats we mentioned here work for you, improve your standups by taking more time to prepare. You can use gamification elements to prompt people before the formal start of the daily standup.
For example, most companies use a famous song or a jingle to notify their teams that it’s time to prepare for a daily meeting. That gives your team time to gather their thoughts, update the task board, and consider what they want to say in a meeting.
15. The varying standup format
The final standup format solution empowers you to simply experiment with different standup formats according to your current needs. You can create a daily standup schedule and include as many different meeting formats as possible to make things more interesting for your team.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here; whatever rocks your boat will work just fine. For example, if the blockers-first format works like a charm for your team, complement it by occasionally switching to Walking the Board. Both formats share a similar approach to focusing on urgent issues, so putting them together should help you keep your team more engaged.
How to choose the best daily standup agenda format
As we mentioned earlier, you can experiment with different options until you find the one that best works for your team. Daily standup formats are versatile and flexible. You can try different approaches or take the existing formats and customize them according to your needs.
Beginner development teams should stick to the three-question scrum standup format as it best works for people new to scrum and agile methodologies. More experienced teams can use any standup format from our list to increase engagement and motivate team members to participate in daily meetings actively.
Try whatever you think could work for you, and don’t be afraid to create your own approach. Your team will appreciate you more for it.
Update agenda for daily standup easily in Ayanza
Ayanza is an incredibly intuitive and user-friendly collaborative project management tool that empowers teams of all sizes and shapes to collaborate and communicate in real time.
It is an AI-powered project management app that provides intuitive AI features, time orchestration tools, and task management options to empower team collaboration and communication according to your needs.
The app provides easy-to-use daily standup templates, such as:
Daily Notes – bring all your standup-related notes under one roof with ready-to-use templates;
Daily Summary – summarize your standup meetings and keep all relevant project-related updates in one, always accessible knowledge base;
Daily Reflection – reflect on action items that require immediate attention and communicate the best ways to cross them off your task board.
In addition, Ayanza offers the daily prep cross-collaboration channel where your team can tap into a daily standup routine, share documents, reflect on yesterday’s accomplishments, and set daily tasks. With Ayanza, you get an all-in-one daily standup tool that keeps all your standup needs in one place.
How can Ayanza help with the daily standup agenda?
Ayanza empowers you to document your daily standup agenda at the start of each day with user-friendly daily standup templates.
You can keep all standup-relevant data in one place, run constructive discussions on demand, help your team understand individual priorities, check meeting history, take meeting notes, and much more.
Getting started with daily standups in Ayanza is as simple as possible. Run the app, fill in your daily standup template, check your team feedback, and engage according to your schedule.
What is the purpose of a daily standup agenda?
The daily standup is an excellent opportunity for your team to share quick status updates and identify blockers at the start of the day. Development teams rely on standups to track project-related progress, solve problems, and reduce the need for ad-hoc team gatherings.
What should be included in a daily standup agenda?
The daily standup agenda depends on the meeting format you choose. Typically, a daily standup agenda includes the three scrum questions:
What are your yesterday’s accomplishments;
What are you working on today;
What obstacles stand in your way?
You can spice up your standup agenda by introducing icebreaker questions, sharing project updates, identifying issues, and assigning action items.
Can the daily standup agenda be customized to fit different team needs?
You can customize your daily agenda according to your specific needs using different daily standup agenda formats. Each format has its pros and cons. Experimenting with different formats is the best way to go.
Should the daily standup agenda be shared with participants in advance?
You should keep all participants up to date with the daily standup agenda to give them enough time to prepare for the daily meeting and consider the essentials they want to share with the rest of the team.
Is it beneficial to review the daily standup format periodically and make adjustments if necessary?
You can try different formats on the go until you find the one that best works for you and your team. Different formats offer different benefits, so take your time reviewing their ups and downs to find a format that will cater to all your needs.