Tips for an effective Stand-up Meeting
Stand-up meetings have become the norm in some teams, especially those using the Scrum framework. As businesses adopt various working models, from hybrid to completely remote work, teams meet more often than ever before.
What is Stand-up meeting?
A Stand-up meeting is a meeting in which attendees typically participate while ‘standing’. The stand-up meeting is not a time for planning. It’s a time for discussing what you have done so far, where you are now, and the issues or impediments you’re facing (if there’s any). It’s that simple! A typical stand-up meeting lasts about 5 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the team. It helps everyone to be on the same page, and you may get help on completing your tasks or goals.
What makes a great Stand-up meeting?
Stand-up meetings are not a one-size-fits-all kind of meeting. In planning and executing Stand-up meetings, it is important to keep everyone engaged. Time should be appropriate and convenient for everyone, or at least most people.
Here, we highlighted some factors that make a great Stand-up meeting.
1. Agree a time and venue that works for everyone:
The rule of thumb here is to agree a time and venue that is convenient for everyone. It could be in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on what works for your team. At Harrybaker, we usually have our Stand-up meetings in the afternoon, between the hours of 1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. We chose a section in our office space to have the Stand-up meetings.
2. Have an agenda:
Stand-up meeting agendas are short and straight to the point. No time for detailed discussion. A typical Stand-up meeting agenda looks like this:
What you have done so far:
Each member of the team shares their progress on what they have worked on so far. They let other team members know what they are up to. This makes it possible to ascertain whether or not tasks and activities are focused towards achieving the team’s or organizational goals.
Where you are now/what you plan to do next:
Each team member in turn talks about where they are now and what they plan to do next. This is expected to be as brief as possible.
Any impediments or obstacles?:
Sometimes, planned activities or tasks do not go as envisaged. In Stand-up meetings, you can voice out the impediments or issues you are facing.
3. Track time:
To keep everyone focused and accountable, it is good to have someone track the Stand-up meeting time. You can rotate who keeps track of the time. Stand-up meetings should typically not exceed 15 minutes.
4. Eliminate unproductive discussions:
To stay focused, it is essential to discuss only what matters. Unproductive discussions should be taken outside the Stand-up meeting. The meeting leader should resist any urge to go off tangent.
5. Seek continuous improvement:
You can discuss the effectiveness of your Stand-up meetings. What areas do you need improvement on? Has your Stand-up meeting been effective? These questions can help drive useful conversations with your team on how to improve the effectiveness of your Stand-up meetings.
Common mistakes in Stand-up meetings
Here are the common mistakes to avoid in Stand-up meetings.
- Rambling: No rambling. Be as concise and clear as possible.
- Being late: Stand-up meetings are usually short, 5 – 15 minutes. Coming late impact on other people’s time.
- Eating: Although Stand-up meetings is not the usual ‘strict’ type of meeting, eating during Stand Up is highly prohibited.
- Not listening: You may be to help a teammate or even learn from the others during Stand Up. Practice emphatic listening.
- Sitting down: It is customary to stand during Stand-up meetings. However, it is important to accommodate people with special needs.
- Not following agreed format: Stand-up meetings have format for reporting. Veering off this format does more harm than good.
- Being too detailed: Detailed discussions are reserved for other types of meetings, not Stand-up meetings.
Whether you work in a development team or not, Stand-up meetings can be useful in clarifying and getting updates on work. In about 15 minutes, every member of the team knows what you are working on, how far you have gone, and the challenges or impediments you are experiencing. 15 minutes could save your team hundreds of wasted hours, doing the wrong thing.
To understand how to effectively organize a Stand-up meeting, attend the Harrybaker Scrum course that not only covers stand-up meetings but also covers other Scrum practices.