If your business organization is into agile software development, you’re probably practicing daily stand-ups on a regular basis. The stand-up meetings are short discussions that help agile teams brainstorm the best way to tackle challenges and move forward with product goals.
A stand up meeting helps keep your teammates up-to-date with the task list by addressing past accomplishments, ongoing tasks, and potential issues. Daily meetings bring together the product owner, scrum master, and software teams.
Each meeting attendee shares a status update with the entire team, presents ideas on accomplishing a common goal, and helps with sprint planning. Since your agile development efforts depend on conquering challenges as quickly as possible, here are the best agile meeting practices for sharing daily updates with teammates.
How are daily standup best practices useful?
Daily standup meetings help software development teams share valuable time. Each person answers a simple question regarding a sprint goal at hand, an upcoming task, and potential issues. However, these meetings have a strict time limit that caps their duration to 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your project team.
In other words, you can’t afford to turn daily standups into a waste of time. Since you don’t have the time for a lengthy discussion every day, avoid making the common mistake of losing yourself to endless problems. Instead, create a meeting template to make the most out of the meeting time on your hands.
The goal is to keep your workforce, in-house or remote teams, on track with the latest events that may impact the project outcome. Daily stand-up meetings keep product development teams engaged, energized, and motivated to accomplish the product vision according to the client's requirements.
A status update session is a vital type of meeting in project management because it aligns your team and helps identify blockers, prioritize tasks, and overcome challenges. Effective standup meetings help your product team manage multiple projects by dividing work into smaller tasks, encouraging collaboration, and sharing updates.
That’s why the best task management AI apps come with top-class daily standup features to help managers discuss project-related tasks, identify obstacles, schedule meetings, and more.
Aside from getting things done, progress update meetings are ideal for building relationships with remote teammates to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding upcoming tasks in the product backlog.
Running a quick status meeting in the morning helps your team provide answers to three common questions:
What are your previous accomplishments?
What are you working on today?
Are there any potential issues that might interfere with your progress?
By answering these questions, you can foster team building, address every project-related event before escalation, and keep every team member engaged. Now that you have some basic idea of how useful daily standups can be, here are the best practices for turning a daily meeting into a fun exercise.
12 daily standup best practices to facilitate a meeting
The following daily standup practices can help you improve your meeting efficiency.
1. Create a daily standup agenda
Create a meeting agenda that matches your project and team needs and ensure everyone sticks to it. Remember, you don’t have time for a deep discussion. So, review priorities on your task board and shape your meeting agenda around them.
Daily standups can quickly become boring if you don’t innovate. Try different meeting formats occasionally to refresh your meetings and fight staleness. Only discuss the things that matter and avoid wasting time solving problems or personal quarrels. Issues that require time are best left for a separate meeting.
2. Everyone should stand
Everyone stands in the meeting – that’s why it’s called a daily standup. Whether running an in-house or virtual meeting, ask your teammates to stand. Since these meetings last 10–15 minutes, standing up will create a sense of urgency and keep your standups short, focused, and effective.
3. Appoint a meeting leader
If you’re running an agile team, then you have a scrum master in charge of keeping the team up-to-date with the latest project updates. Scrum masters can be excellent meeting leaders. Your team knows them, has worked with them, and shares a bond with these people.
Appoint your scrum master as a meeting leader to keep everyone in line and ensure everyone respects the timeline and stays productive. If your team doesn’t have a scrum master, any team member can become a meeting facilitator to keep things running smoothly.
4. Reward accomplishments and strengthen accountability
Your team needs to hear a good word occasionally to keep them going. Instead of making daily meetings stressful, we recommend going the other way. Don’t just question your teammates about their accomplishments.
Try to appreciate their efforts by complementing their individual contributions. You can use a popular ice breaker at the beginning of each meeting to mention your team’s accomplishments and get everyone in the mood.
Aside from appreciating their work, your team members will feel more inclined to speak their minds and share essentials at the meeting.
5. Divide daily standups into sections
While status updates should make the most of your daily meetings, leave some time for questions and action items. If you’re using a daily standup tool like Ayanza, you can run meetings in a separate channel, add/remove team members, assign tasks, and take notes.
Tools like Ayanza help enhance team accountability by giving everyone a centralized view of previous tasks, ongoing assignments, and potential blockers.
6. Opt for the most optimized meeting structure
There are many different daily standup formats you can choose from. Many of them could work for your team.
Here are some recommendations:
Standard daily standup questions – the three common questions that involve past activity, current tasks, and obstacles preventing progress;
Wins and blockers – prioritize status updates and team accomplishments;
Lean coffee – shape daily meetings around real problems to prioritize blockers and expedite progress;
Kanban daily standup – run short but constructive discussions on the best ways to complete current tasks by visualizing current project progress and potential obstacles;
Tactical standup – create an invite list to ensure everyone confirms their attendance and create a checklist of meeting items that require immediate attention.
In addition to these formats, you can include any sprint goal necessary to keep your meeting participants focused and engaged. You can also experiment with different formats to keep things fresh.
Once you find the best format for your team, streamline your meeting to keep your organization up-to-date with the latest developments.
7. Opt for the best daily standup tool
If you’re running a remote team, in-house meetings are out of the question. Thankfully, you can boost your daily standup activities by choosing the right tool for the job. A daily standup tool like Ayanza empowers your organization to run a virtual meeting whenever necessary.
On the other hand, you can use it to run a hybrid meeting to keep in-house and remote team members up to speed. Ayanza supports both use cases by giving you an interactive, collaborative virtual environment to distribute knowledge seamlessly.
With Ayanza, you can customize your meeting agenda on the go, plan discussion topics, assign tasks, create content, capture meeting notes, and centralize all business data into a single, user-friendly platform.
8. Shape your meetings around your team
Daily meetings help encourage teamwork, collaboration, and communication. They are your team’s lifeblood. Since they play a vital role in project management, do everything possible to make every meeting as productive as possible.
If something derails your standup efforts, invest time and effort to discover and eliminate the cause. If a meeting goes beyond the 15-minute limit, it’s usually because:
Someone didn’t respect the timeline;
One or more team members went off-topic;
Your team took too much time identifying blockers;
Someone was late to the meeting.
Set some basic rules and explain the importance of the time limit to your team. You should keep every meeting on track with the project's progress. Otherwise, you might end up wasting precious time.
Remember that the scrum masters and product owners are just meeting facilitators. They attend daily standups to track progress and take relevant notes. If they want to address a specific issue, they can do so in a separate meeting.
9. Create a consistent meeting cadence and stick to it
Sticking to the meeting schedule is crucial to running the most effective daily standups that can improve your team’s productivity. Since there’s a time limit involved, run your standups at the same time every day and ensure all participants join on time.
More importantly, don’t delay your meetings if someone doesn’t show. Simply start your meeting without them, as the team comes first. If you’re using the Kanban virtual board for daily meetings, disrupting the routine could tamper the product development process and hinder the flow of information in your team.
So, make sure everyone understands the importance of these meetings. If possible, schedule daily standups in the morning to avoid disrupting the daily workflow.
10. Stick to the time limit
This practice may make or break your team’s effort to deliver top-quality products within a deadline. Sticking to the 15-minute time limit is paramount to keeping daily standups as effective as possible. That’s why you should have some kind of meeting agenda to get to the point of the exercise.
Standups aren’t suitable for solving complex problems or having deep discussions. All your participants have to do is share their updates, inform on individual progress, and identify blockers, no more, no less.
So, limit your attendees to only those who must participate and ensure everyone sticks to the meeting agenda and timeline. If someone comes up with a complex problem, address the issue separately in a follow up meeting.
11. Work on energy levels
If your team is unwilling or motivated to participate in daily standups, consider introducing gamification elements at the beginning. You can start with a fun exercise, icebreaker, or warm-up to get everyone excited. This practice could help keep energy levels up and everyone alert and focused.
12. Make meetings fun
Though running meetings helps you move projects forward, they shouldn’t be overly serious. Keeping things too serious can get boring quickly. The more boring the meetings are, the more your team will dread them.
So, try to make things more interesting while sticking to the meeting structure and schedule. Start a meeting with a game or song, let team members speak about interesting topics, etc.
How is Ayanza helpful with daily standups?
Though Ayanza is essentially an AI project management and team collaboration platform, It can improve your daily standups with private team groups, an AI-enabled content writer, a built-in chat editor, separate communication channels, and collaboration workspaces.
Ayanza gives you a rich library of the best daily standup templates to empower your team to tap into cross-departmental collaboration and unify projects, tasks, and everything else needed to track progress status.
With Ayanza, you can customize your daily meetings according to your needs, make adjustments in real-time to cope with sudden changes and project updates, streamline daily workflows, and manage all your needs from a single platform.
In addition, Ayanza allows you to capture meeting notes, assess past efforts, outline current progress, and gather all project-relevant data into a centralized, always accessible, and easily searchable knowledge base.
How can remote team members be included in a daily standup?
You can use a daily standup tool like Ayanza to set up a hybrid (a mix of in-house and remote workers) or remote meeting according to your needs and the team’s availability. A remote worker can join your meeting via a video conference call and use Ayanza’s built-in editor to chat with other participants and capture important notes.
What should be the balance between detail and brevity when sharing updates?
Since daily standups last only 15 minutes, the focus should be on addressing the tasks at hand and identifying potential obstacles. Anything more than that would become a waste of time.
What should be done if someone consistently misses the daily standup?
If the same team member keeps missing the daily standup, you should invite them for a talk to get to the bottom of it and understand the reason behind their behavior. If the person does it for no particular reason, consider restrictions to get them back in line.