Daily standup meetings - Purpose and relevance in 2023

In this blog we discuss the purpose of a daily standup and is it still relevant in the post pandemic hybrid workplace.

What is a Daily Standup meeting?

A daily standup meeting or daily scrum or daily huddle is a meeting where attendees typically participate while standing. The uncomfortable nature of standing up during the meeting is intentional to keep it short. With daily standup, the entire team gets to meet everyday for a quick status update.

Who uses this?

The format of daily meetings is now widely adopted by software development teams as part of agile software development processes. Software development frameworks such as Scrum prescribe Daily Scrum as a way to regularly inspect progress and adapt as necessary while delivering software products iteratively.

Although this format is frequently used in software development teams, its principles can be used by any team that can benefit from routine inspection and adaptation while coordinating on work.

What is the purpose of Daily Standup?

The daily standup is for the team to share status of work. This serves two purposes

  1. Everyone gets visibility into what is happening
  2. Team gets to discuss any challenges that's blocking any member from effectively performing their work

What is discussed in a daily standup?

The popular format for daily standup is for each participant to answer the following 3 questions

  1. What did you get done?
  2. What is the plan for today?
  3. Are there any blockers

Some teams choose to focus on the blockers only. The agenda can depend on what makes most sense for your team as long as the meeting is short and serves the purpose.

You can choose to include an ice-breaker question for participants to get to know each other better and ease any friction in initiating the discussion.

How to conduct a Daily Standup?

Daily Standup is typically for a small team of less than 10 people. The participants are working together on a project and broadly represent all roles in the project. When teams are larger, it may make sense to split the teams or conduct the meeting asynchronously.

Before you start a daily standup for your team, make sure to

  1. Set up a recurring meeting in advance
  2. Identify and inform the participants of the meeting’s agenda
  3. Briefly describe how they are expected to participate (Zoom/Slack channel/physical meeting room)

During the meeting, ensure that

  1. Discussion sticks to agenda items
  2. Topics that require longer discussion are taken offline for after the meeting
  3. Action items from the previous meeting brought up for discussion as needed

After the meeting, ensure to

  1. Share the meeting recording/notes so people who could not attend can consume that asynchronously
  2. Capture action items and make sure your project management tool reflect the status of the tasks accurately as discussed
  3. Inform and track action items for people outside the team

Keeping your meeting remote compatible

For teams that are distributed or working remote, getting everybody to participate in a zoom call at the same time can be challenging. It is important to allow the flexibility of participating at a time that works for everyone.

The answer can be to conduct your daily standup meeting asynchronously. Asynchronous meetings are those that occur without the need for real time interaction. To put it another way, no one needs to jump on a video call or block off time on their schedule to join. The agenda for these meetings is the same as for synchronous standups.

You can conduct the stand up meetings asynchronously by allowing participants for example to submit their answers as Slack chat messages in a dedicated channel. You can do this by scheduling a meeting reminder message in the Slack channel or by using a dedicated Daily Standup meeting tool like Troopr. Troopr will start a conversation with each participant at a scheduled time compatible with each participant’s timezone. Troopr will automatically prepare a report with submissions from all participants rolled together with task updates from the connected project management tools.

Troopr’s automated reports are available in Slack and web app. This serves two purposes

  1. Slack reports are the starting point for discussions on blockers. Relevant people are at-mentioned in the report for their attention. Further discussion can continue in the same thread.
  2. Web reports can give full visibility into what is going on with the team with context from previous reports and from task updates in connected project management tools.

Asynchronous standup meetings like the ones facilitated by Troopr can be a replacement for traditional standup meetings or a way to run better and fewer synchronous meetings.

Relevance of Daily Standup

The standup meeting was designed for teams working out of a physical office. The very name suggests that everyone needs to “stand up” in a meeting room and discuss the meeting agenda. In the post pandemic world that has transformed to predominantly a remote or hybrid remote working environment, team members can no longer be expected to be in the same place at the same time.

So are daily standup meetings still relevant? The answer is yes, as long as

  1. The meeting format adapts to be compatible with remote teams
  2. Delivers the purpose it was intended for

Troopr Daily Standup tool was built for hybrid remote teams and saves time for in-office teams as well by making the most efficient use of team’s time during their synchronous meetings.

Getting started with Troopr

If you choose to use Troopr Slack bot to facilitate your standup / pre-standup routine, you can get started by adding Troopr to your Slack workspace.

Troopr Check-ins are the easiest way to conduct your daily standup asynchronously in Slack. You can set up your first Check-in in under a minute and have your team participate by answering questions in Slack. Troopr will deliver automated reports and facilitate further discussions directly in Slack.

Troopr is also deeply integrated with the Jira project management tool to pull all activities from it and roll it up in an integrated report. Troopr will also automatically update Jira issues based on updates during the Standup meetings in Slack.

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