I like stand-ups for a couple of reasons: they offer an open communication channel and it takes only a few minutes to see what the day will look like.

A daily stand-up is your team’s medical check-up. An experienced scrum master can read the health of the team and the state of the delivery by reviewing the Wall and observing interactions between people during the stand-up.

That might sound like music to the ear, but anyone who has tried to introduce stand-ups to an inexperienced team would know that this is not a picnic. There will be resistance, and as a scrum master, you are responsible for guiding cultural change without alienating people in the organisation.

How do I start daily stand-ups in my team or organisation?

Starting off the right way is crucial. Check out our 5 tips to making stand-ups work!

1. The "Why” of the stand-up - A stand-up helps you work with the Agile mindset. Your team should know (and should be reminded occasionally) the rationale behind getting together for 15 minutes every day. Having a stand-up does not mean anything unless the team has the right mindset.

2. A stand-up is not a reporting meeting - It is, rather, a gathering to share what will happen that day, talk about any impediments to delivery, and discuss how to remove them collaboratively. There is no note-taking or post-meeting reporting.

3. Be persistent and predictable - Team members should know where and when the stand-up is every day without having to check their calendars. The ideal place to have your stand-up is by a Scrum Wall*. Stand-ups take place even when the scrum master is away. From time to time, ask for volunteers in your team to run the stand-up - this prepares them to lead the stand-up when the scrum master is absent.
* The Scrum Wall is a visual display of the progress of the team during a sprint. It is a snapshot of the team’s project, showcasing the tasks that have been completed, as well as those that are in progress or yet to be started.

4. Absenteeism - Once an organisation has adopted stand-ups, attending them is part of an employee’s job description - not showing up at stand-ups is analogous to not attending a meeting that you are expected at. Absenteeism, due to conflicting meetings or being late, is often an early challenge for the new Agile team. Ideally, if a team member knows they will be absent, they should meet with their scrum master prior so that their information can still be represented at the stand-up.

5. Listen to your team and pivot - there is a difference between leading your people with a framework and imposing a way of working. If you team wants to adopt a "round-robin*" approach instead of "walking the wall", give it a go! As long as you keep to the team principles and focus on value, it is OK to alter your rituals and tailor the flow.

*In a "round-robin" approach, everyone in the team speaks in a determined order, whereas with the "walking the wall" approach, the team talks through the cards on the wall in sequential order.

Call Nexxt on 1300 031 931 or email to get a free health-check on your stand-ups.

This blog is an abstract from a full article written by Hari Baran, Principal Consultant & GM Queensland, Nexxt.


Thank you! Your download is ready!
Finish Download
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please refresh the page and try again.