What is Daily Scrum Standup Meeting and how to run it?

The daily scrum standup is a 15-minute meeting that makes agile development efficient and seamless. Learn how to run a daily scrum standup meeting.

The Daily Scrum Meeting (or Daily Standup Meeting) takes place once a Sprint begins. It is the most popular of all scrum ceremonies since most teams already follow it. As the name suggests, this meeting is held every day during a sprint.

What’s a Daily Scrum Standup Meeting?

A daily scrum standup is not just a status meeting, but a meeting that also helps the team identify roadblocks and ultimately solve them before it’s too late.

The main goal of the daily scrum meeting is to share with the rest of the team the progress made towards the sprint goal (that was decided during the sprint planning meeting) and keep everyone on the same page.

How does a standup meeting reveal roadblocks? Glad you asked.

3 Questions to answer in Daily Scrum Meeting

During the standup meeting, each member of the development team take turns to answer 3 important questions:

  1. What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  2. What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  3. Do I see any roadblocks that prevent me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?

Answering these questions help teams get an understanding of who’s working on what user story and reveal if someone is unable to make progress on the task assigned to them.

Who should attend a Daily Scrum Meeting?

The Daily Scrum Meeting is for:

  1. The Development Team
  2. The Scrum Master
  3. The Product Owner
  4. Other stakeholders (if and when there is a need or a dependency)

How long should a Daily Scrum Meeting last?

The Daily Scrum Meeting should not last more than 15 minutes and the scrum master’s role is to ensure that it stays that way. Unlike other types of scrum meetings, this meeting is the shortest.

Best practices on how to run an effective Daily Scrum Meeting

1. Keep it conversational

The thing with daily standup meetings is, it can quickly become robotic when you’re trying to answer the three questions. Even worse, it could sound like an interrogation if there’s someone asking the question and you’re answering to them.

Share updates like you would when you’re talking about an interesting tech you found during a coffee break - conversational and friendly.

2. It’s the development team’s meeting

While other members can be present in the meeting, the daily scrum meeting is for the development team. The role of a scrum master during this meeting is to ensure other members do not disrupt the meeting and keep the meeting within the 15-minute time box.

3. Resolve roadblocks after the meeting

During the meeting when you identify concerns, it’s easy to want to jump head first and try to solve them. But that will only end up prolonging your standup meeting.

When you identify possible roadblocks be sure to note it down separately. At the end of the meeting, meet up with the individual who is blocked and discuss in detail about the problem at hand to find solutions, adapt or replan.

4. Avoid going off-topic

It is very easy to go off topic and into a worm hole. This often leads to increasing the length of the meeting and decreases the team’s productivity. A good way to counter this is to have your project management tool open as your team shares their progress.

5. Don’t use Daily Scrum as a Planning Meeting

As new and when new work items crop up, it can be tempting to quickly start discussing about it and how you can implement it.

New work items, ideas or plans shouldn’t be introduced in a daily scrum meeting. By discussing about new items, you’ll end up steering away from the sprint’s original goal and going past its deadline. Which is why this is done during the Sprint Planning Meeting.

6. Keep an eye on the deadline

Be sure to keep an eye on how many days are remaining versus how many estimation points are remaining. A good way to quickly know if you are likely to hit the deadline is to use the burndown graph and see how your team is performing in comparison to the ideal guideline.

You can learn more about how to read a burndown chart in this in-depth guide.