The definition of Stand-up

Two key tenets of Agile and Scrum are transparency and accountability. There is one key ceremony which encourages both on a daily basis. It is called the stand-up meeting. This meeting is the heartbeat of any effective Agile team and should be practiced by all Agile teams, whether they use Scrum, Kanban, or some other form of Agile.

How does stand-up work?

The team chooses a time every work day that best suits the team’s schedule. Deciding factors are team schedule, geo-location, and office location (virtual or in-office).

Typically, teams aim to hold stand-up at the start of their day, but may need to do so near the middle of the day or even at the end of the day depending on their unique circumstances.

Once a time has been chosen, the team will need a location and method of meeting.

For co-located teams, choose an open office or some other area that can accommodate the entire team. A display of some kind is usually helpful to show the Scrum board for reference during stand-up. For remote or hybrid teams, Slack huddles, Google Meet, Zoom, etc. will be required. Again, displaying the Scrum board during the meeting is helpful, so someone should be on point to share their screen.

The Scrum Master, team lead, or Product Owner will facilitate the meeting. They will call on each person, in turn, who will give their daily update. Keep in mind, this is not intended to be a status meeting, but a statement of accomplishments and plans for the coming day along with any blockers.

Each person states what they accomplished the day before, what they intend to accomplish in the current day, and what blockers or impediments they are facing.

Discussion is kept to a minimum and the meeting should be time-boxed to 15 minutes. As such, any lengthy discussions will need to be redirected “offline” by the meeting facilitator.

How does stand-up promote transparency and accountability?

Stand-up promotes transparency by letting everyone know what everyone else is doing. Additionally, it promotes accountability as each person states to the group what they’ve accomplished and what their plan is for the current or following workday.