A daily standup is a brief 10-15 minute meeting that takes place within agile teams to give everyone the chance to give a quick individual progress update. To help keep everyone on track, we’ve created a simple standup template that your team can use as the backbone of your daily standup meetings.
The simple physical act of standing up is designed to help encourage everyone to stay alert, away from the distraction of their email inbox and screens. This will help everyone be more conscious and connected, creating a more collaborative environment. By keeping it under 15 minutes you can minimize fidgeting and distractions, without taking up too much valuable work time.
“A daily standup provides a valuable insight into other departments, inspiring teamwork and improved communication, which drives empathy and understanding,” says business consultant Grant Gamble.
Why should I have a daily standup meeting?
The main purpose of a daily standup, also known as a scrum, is to foster collaboration and openness between team members. By sharing current plans and addressing any roadblocks, you open up the dialogue between team members who may be able to offer solutions you’ve been looking for. The regular cadence also ensures everyone is aware of the groups progress, without the feeling of being micro-managed or hassled. This is even more important in remote teams who don’t have regular interactions and may be distributed around the world.
It is also a great way to keep everyone motivated. In a scrum meeting, everyone is asked to briefly share three things:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What are you planning on doing today?
This gives people the impetus to finish projects and work towards their goals so they have an update to share each day. It also gives managers an opportunity to keep an eye on who might be falling behind, and who is performing strongly.
How to use a daily standup template in remote teams
The daily standup meeting is part of the Agile framework, which is an iterative approach focused on small adjustments over time, instead of one final finished product. The one central template should be shared with everyone in the team so they can add their notes each morning before the meeting. This ensures there’s a clear agenda for the standup.
Decide on a cadence
It’s important to make the meeting as regular as possible. Before setting up the recurring meeting, take votes from your team about whether they’d prefer morning or late-afternoon meetings. Also, try to pick a time that doesn’t clash with other weekly meetings, while considering office hours of part-time and casual team members, as well as different time zones.
Keep it short
The standup meeting is short, frequent and motivating, in line with the wider Agile principles. There’s no need to take notes or minutes during this meeting, but jotting down your answers in a shared document will serve as a reminder on the progress you make each day. This is especially useful in remote teams who will be conducting their standups via video conference, without physical notepads and whiteboards.
Our daily standup template enables you to work collaboratively with your remote team members in real-time. It’s designed to help team members jot down their notes under the three key questions: What did you do yesterday? What are you planning on doing today? Any blockers?
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What not to do in a remote standup meeting
If you are new to standup meetings, you might not get it perfect from the start, and that’s ok, as long as you are constantly learning and adjusting. Here are a few big no-no’s when it comes to standup meetings:
- Late – The point of the standup meeting is to keep it short, so if you’re late, you’ll only stretch the meeting longer than it needs to be, or force people to repeat what they’ve said
- Ignore video: Harnessing video conferencing software will add that extra layer of connectedness and accountability
- Sit down – Remote or not, always make a habit of standing up to stay focused
- Multitask – Close your emails for 15 minutes and focus on what is being said as you might just have solution your team member is looking for
- Skip anyone – It’s important everyone in the team gets a chance to contribute.
- Ramble – You should only be answering three quick questions, anything more than that can be dealt with afterwards 1-on-1, or in a separate meeting.