5 Platinum Rules For Productive Daily Standup Meeting

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5 Platinum Rules For Productive Daily Standup Meeting

Hold productive daily standup meetings easily by following five golden rules. You’ll be amazed by the results.

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“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.” - Dave Berry

So, you’re a scrum master and think that your daily standup meetings are not serving the purpose for some time now? Now, you’re not the only scrum master who thinks the same way.

A recent survey stated that 67% of employees are not in favor of spending too much time in meetings that hinders them from being productive at work. While the majority of employees prefer fewer meetings, the modern-day competitive business environment means such meetings are held consistently.

The 15-minute standup meeting has become a daily fixture in the agile world. However, do your team members view these standup meetings as a productive collaboration tool, or is it just another daily get-together of the development team where 15 minutes of productive time are lost in doing nothing?

If your team (and you) are of the view that daily standup meetings are more of a time-waste than yielding productive results then it’s time you go back to the drawing board again.

Scrum managers don’t need to pull their hair out to make their daily standups worthwhile. All it takes is to make some changes to the way you hold your daily standups and results would amaze you no end.

Wondering how to achieve this seemingly difficult goal? Don’t worry. I have your back! I understand that meetings can quickly downslide from being a productive to time-wasting activity without scrum managers realizing it.

I have experienced the same situation a few months back when daily stand ups meetings seemed to be heading nowhere. Some team members from my team took little time to express their disappointment over these meetings. Purposeless was the term used by them to describe standup meetings.

I had to figure out what went wrong, how, and why. It took little time for me to find out that we needed to get all team members aligned and be crystal clear of what’s expected of them.

However, there was more to it than bringing clarity to daily standups. I have penned down a few tried-and-tested tips that will go a long way in helping scrum managers and team members to run daily standup meetings that serve their purpose.

Proven Tips To Have Productive Daily Standup Meetings

Tip#1. Make Your Meetings Lively

Generally, in daily standup meetings, the Scrum master takes the hot seat and decides who’s going to speak up when. If you are following the same pattern then you can change a few things to brighten your meetings. You could apply engaging practices like round-robin (standup starts with a random person and goes clockwise or anti-clockwise) or pass-the-token (only a person with a token speak, and after finishing he/she can pass the token to any person randomly) to add more flexibility to daily standups. Changing mechanisms daily will keep team members on their toes and make things less predictable.

Tip#2. Only Hold Daily Standup Meeting When Necessary

This point cannot be stressed enough. I know daily standups are considered crucial but there are some meetings that are not required at all. I have been in such a situation a few times where we struggled to have any agenda for the meeting. In situations like these, you can use a handy team collaboration tool that facilitates thoughtful features like group chat and online discussions. This will help you and your team members have quick conversations when it’s convenient for them.

Tip#3. Have A Clear Agenda

If there’s one thing that’s common in all productive daily standup meetings is that they have a clear and set agenda. Make sure that your daily standup meeting has a set agenda and team discussions don't deviate from the main topic. Also, make sure that your daily standup doesn’t extend beyond scheduled timings. You can set a timer for the meeting and follow this timing religiously.

Tip#4. Don’t Leave Out Remote Employees

These are days when a large number of pros are working remotely. If some of your team members are coming to a regular office while others are working remotely, you should invite every remote employee to daily standup meetings. A standup meeting can help enhance collaboration between in-office teams and remote team members while fostering the culture of mutual trust and respect. More importantly, daily standups help to make remote employees feel connected and engaged, which is crucial to get the best out of them. Using a popular video conferencing tool like Zoom can bring all your team members together on a single platform easily as you put in efforts to build team camaraderie.

Tip#5. Give Everyone a Chance To Talk

Even though daily standup meetings are scheduled for 15 minutes only, you can let every team member present in the meeting have his/her say. You don’t have to be “talking captain” all of this time. You can assign a certain duration to let meeting participants speak up. They can ask questions, provide updates, give suggestions, and more. The point is that no single person should dominate a standup meeting. The key to a productive daily standup is that everyone shares crucial information in a limited timeframe, as concisely as possible.

Wrapping It Up

Daily standup meetings are important to set the tone for the day for the team. This meeting allows project managers and their teams to be on the same page and exchange crucial project information. In other words, a daily standup meeting, when held productively, is of great use to project teams, managers, and organizations.

That said, not every standup meeting is productive because of low engagement of team members. You can change the picture by following the five proven tips for efficient daily standup meetings and get every team member to actively participate in the proceedings.