Here in my office, we made it a practice to come before 9 AM (in any condition as decided by management) and start with a Standup Meeting. Here we start with discussing with issues of previous day, any updates from manager (by leads) and the work plan for today.

This meeting may sound good and process oriented , but some times if there is a show down then it ruins the morning mood or if there is a difference in opinion then again it is not a good thing to start with.

So, HR and Management decides that initially we will discuss personal matters for 10 to 15mins and then we will jump to technical and official discussion.For 15 minutes everyday, are you serious , I don't get a topic to discuss for 15mins every day with my lead who is much older than me and never discussed anything in personal till now and you want to start with it just like that!!! So it is back to square one. Every one (Amazingly in all the teams) is discussing again technical aspects only in the morning /stand up meeting.

So here it comes, today I have a lunch with management and the topic for discussion is:

How to make Nice Day(Morning/Standup) meetings effective?

  • 2
    It's not entirely clear to me what your problem with the current setup is. Is it that there is a "showoff"? Is it that personal talk at the meeting is silly? Is the problem that there is no personal talk when management said it should be? Oct 6 '10 at 5:28
  • Bring some alcohol beverages or pizza to that part when you discuss personal matters. Then the rest of the meeting will flow way nicer!
    – P Shved
    Oct 6 '10 at 9:41
  • youtube.com/watch?v=B3htbxIkzzM
    – user2567
    Oct 6 '10 at 10:10
  • How many people are in each meeting? I mean, if there's too many, some people will be overlooked. I thought that one of the reasons for having a morning stand-up is to make people feel more accountable.
    – Nobody
    Oct 6 '10 at 10:41

In my experience, the best way to improve standups is to follow the rules exactly. A lot of agile practices can be bent, but if you're having trouble, a good first step is to return to the prescribed way of doing it:

  • Stick to 15 minutes for the entire meeting. People get bored easily, especially at mandatory, team-wide, daily meetings.
  • Have each person say what they did yesterday, what they're doing today, and anything blocking them. Nothing else. This keeps it on topic and to the point.
  • Have a team lead or senior developer (not management) lead the meeting, and be agressive about keeping things on topic as well as telling people to take discussions offline as they become too in-depth.
  • 1
    +1 exaclty, the description in the question looks like a smell
    – user2567
    Oct 6 '10 at 7:30
  • We just had a horrible "review" of our morning meetings...one guys suggesting that we make it 5 min instead of 15 due to too much deep stuff...guess what there is noone in charge of the meeting, that's why it runs to wicked deep group discussions.
    – cyberzed
    Oct 6 '10 at 8:57
  • I would even say rotate who "leads" the meeting. I've seen tech leads who are half-management who act like management and just dominate the meeting and turn it into a mandatory status meeting which the whole team hates. Mar 7 '15 at 15:46

I've found it easier to talk about things on the task board/card wall/kanban board . Talk only about what is blocking the movement of cards on the wall. Take anything else off line, if it it is not related to the cards on the wall.

This keeps the standup focussed and relevant. Only let people in the team talk ( those who are working on things that are on the wall) everyone else has to be silent till the stand up is over

Avoid technical discussions. Standups are about progress , removing blockers and communicating what everyone else is doing.

Only let one person talk at a time. Have a standup token, only the person having the token may talk and they may hold the token only for a minute.

Be disciplined and brutal. For a team of 5-6 shouldn't last longer than 10 minutes. Make it quick and snappy and full of energy.

The stand up is for the team, no one else, not HR, not Management and not even the CEO. The team decides when to have the standup and the team sets the agenda.

Have a look at common standup smells http://martinfowler.com/articles/itsNotJustStandingUp.html

  • And discuss the open tasks from closest to done to not started. Let's you focus on finishing work that's already been started before discussing new work.
    – RubberDuck
    Jan 17 '16 at 0:05
  • Move the personnel matters to a weekly sit-down meeting, which might as well last an hour. You don't need to discuss personnel issues every day, unless you're a startup that might go out of business at any time.
  • Make the meeting focused on technical issues, related to your process.
  • If you are pretending to follow Scrum, really follow it. It sounds like you might need a scrum master who keeps things tight and focused.
  • Move the meeting to an hour or two later. No one likes to show up at 9AM, and the meeting might become more useful if people have time before it to prepare for it.
  • In terms of the meeting time I would even say let the developers decide on it. Instead of "10am" or "9:30am", make it "before lunch" so that it covers anyone who's supposedly "late", it would give everyone enough time to review what they did and what they're working on. Mar 7 '15 at 15:48

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