6 Tips on How to Run an Effective Daily Stand Up Meeting

June 12, 2024
Reading time: 3 min

Stand-up meetings are great. They keep everyone alert and ensure the discussions stay brief and focused. Doing stand-ups daily helps align all team members on strategy and tasks ahead. However, many teams find these meetings repetitive, unfocused, and time-draining.

At Smartexe, we’ve refined our approach to stand-up meetings during the last decade: tweaking the format, adapting the length, and incorporating online stand-ups for remote teams.

I share our methods in this guide and invite you to share yours in the comments.

1. Use a Consistent Structure

A well-structured format helps maintain consistency and ensures all critical points are covered. The typical structure involves each team member answering several key questions.

At Smartexe, we’ve developed a 3-questions format, that is expected to create clarity and to help us identify potential problems early. Here they are:

What did I accomplish yesterday? Share your progress on the sprint goals, focusing on activities relevant to the team. What will I do today? Mention the tasks you plan to complete, take full responsibility of its realization. What obstacles are impeding my progress? Let the team know if there are any blockers, dependencies, or technical limitations.

This format also creates a psychological commitment to accomplish goals without making excuses.

2. Timebox the Meeting

The whole idea behind stand-ups is to be short. Keeping the meeting brief ensures that participants remain engaged and focused.

At Smartexe, the ideal length for a small team is 5-10 min.

Shorter meetings might indicate that not all members get to talk freely and participants lose focus in meetings that exceed 15 minutes.

By strictly adhering to the time limit, we ensure everyone remains engaged and the meeting is productive.

3. Rotate Meeting Leadership

Rotating the leadership of stand-up meetings can keep them fresh and engaging. It also allows different team members to develop their facilitation skills.

In Smartexe we rotate the responsibility of leading stand-ups weekly. This practice does not only diversify perspectives but also empowers everyone to take ownership of the meeting’s success.

4. Propose Solutions First

When obstacles are discussed, encourage team members to propose solutions before delving into the problem. This approach keeps the meeting positive and solution-focused.

5. Try Asynchronous Meetings

In cases where team members are in different time zones, asynchronous meetings can be effective. Set clear deadlines for when the updates should be provided and ensure everyone adheres to this schedule.

6. Write It All Down

Documenting key points from the stand-up meetings helps align daily activities and decisions. Meeting notes can serve as a reference and ensure continuity in team efforts. At Smartexe, we document key points with widely available AI tools. This helps us to track progress, ensure commitment, and avoid misunderstandings.

Try to implement these strategies in your next stand-up meeting and observe the positive impact on your team's productivity and morale. Let me know in the comments what works for you.

Looking to hire a committed and effective dev team? Just give me a ping to see what teams are available today.