What is a daily stand up / daily scrum?

A daily stand-up meeting is a short, time-boxed team status check, held every day, usually at a set time. The Scrum framework calls the daily stand-up a ‘Daily Scrum’.

The inspect and adapt nature of agile ways of working operates at a number of levels, from unit testing code which is done multiple times a day to reviews and retrospectives which can be held as rarely as every month. Communication is at the heart of building good teams, so getting a team to synchronise daily is a good idea – if done well.

Who leads, what’s the focus and how long should they take?

Organised and facilitated by the Scrum Master, the intent behind a daily stand-up is that the team come together for a status check – to make sure that everyone is aligned and has visibility over what is going on, good and bad. The traditional format is to gather in a circle near the relevant task board and answer these three questions:

  1. What did I do yesterday (to help achieve our goal)?
  2. What will I do today (to help achieve our goal)?
  3. What obstacles do I have that need resolving?

Even with a big team (ten or more) the daily stand-up can be done in under 15 minutes.

A common problem with teams is that they find the daily stand-up will go on too long. This can lead to people not paying attention; at which point they just become a formality, their value is lost and they end up getting scrapped.

Daily stand-up top tip

A top tip is to keep the focus. Just stick with answering the three questions as succinctly as possible. Don’t try and resolve problems in the stand-up – that can be done later. Also avoid distractions – it’s not a social event. It’s worth noting that the Scrum Master should make sure any issues raised are dealt with and that the stand-up keeps on track.

Regardless of approach, a daily stand-up is a good tool to bring the team together, create alignment and highlight problems that need resolving. Used positively, it can be a brilliant way of increasing team cohesion and performance.

Daily scrum factsheet

Daily Scrum Factsheet

Relevant Courses:

Agility in Mind run the following courses where daily stand-ups are explained in more detail and practical workshopping takes place.

Ready to get started?

Our team of business agility experts are here to help

Contact us

Discover new insights

I’m a product owner not a feature... By Paul Grew

Read More
Agility.im

Sign up for our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest business agility news