Category Archives: Stand-Ups

Daily Stand-Up / Scrum Meeting

Although this material may be found in a variety of places on the web, clients have often asked me to provide them write-ups and explanations.  Enclosed is a brief summary of the Daily Stand-Up / Scrum Meeting.


Participants have updated their tasks to reflect new estimates for their work.


15 Minutes (maximum) + time for the “16th Minute”


The purpose of this meeting is for the team to re-synchronize and re-evaluate their progress with each other on a daily basis.  Note: it’s not a status meeting for the ScrumMaster; it is a daily planning meeting for the team, as they are planning their work for the day.

The stand-up is for the team to make sure they still feel they are on-track, synchronize their work with their teammates, re-evaluate work remaining, and identify / raise impediments.

Each participant answers 3 questions:

  1. “What did I get done yesterday?”
  2. “What do I plan on accomplishing today?”
  3. “Do I have any impediments?”

Often because of time zone challenges I suggest changing the questions to:

  1. “What did I get done since the last stand-up?”
  2. “What do I plan on getting done before the next stand-up?”
  3. “Do I have any impediments that I wish to escalate that I require assistance with?”



  • Team
  • ScrumMaster
  • Product Owner (optional, but we feel it’s very helpful if they regularly attend)


  • Anyone


When each participant in attendance has provided their update to the team and the team has reviewed the burn-down chart.

The “16th Minute”

After the Stand-Up concludes, we encourage the participants to stay around and work things out as needed.  It’s also an opportunity for Observers to then ask questions of the team.  Team members that are impacted are identified prior to the beginning of the 16th minute.  Others are free to leave.

For scheduling purposes plan on another 15 minutes, but it is typically less than that.

Standard Scrum Ceremonies / Meetings

  1. Participants in this document refer to individuals critical to the meeting and are allowed to talk during the meeting. 
  2. Observers in this document refer to individuals allowed to observe meetings, but aren’t allowed to talk during the meeting. 

Story-Based Stand-Ups

Many agile teams have become accustomed to conducting stand-ups, but there are times when the basic stand-up may not be as effective and efficient as communicating progress and aiding team with work re-synchronization.

The basic Stand-Up typically follows this protocol:

  • The team recognizes the Stand-Up is about to start;
  • In a clock-wise fashion each team member, as well as the scrum master, answers the following questions:
  1. “What did I get done yesterday?”
  2. “What do I plan on accomplishing today?”
  3. “Do I have any impediments?”

This type of stand-up works fine, but for team members that are remote this can be challenging for a variety of reasons:

  • Team members often don’t speak up during the tele-conference call.
  • Team members tend to fail to indicate which stories they are working on.
  • The continuity of a story and its completion is broken up as we go around the team room during the Stand-Up.

If you are experiencing this problem, or want to experiment with something different, I have had some teams change to a story focus during their Stand-Ups.  Instead of having the organizing principle be the individual, the organizing principle shifts to the story.  As Larman and Vodde state in Scaling Lean & Agile Development, “this allows us to focus on the baton and not the runner”.

A Story-Based Stand-Up would proceed as follows:

  • The team recognizes the Stand-Up is about to start;
  • Based on story priority, with the most important story going first, each team member working on that story or planning to work on that story, answers the following questions:
  1. “For this story, what did I get done yesterday?”
  2. “For this story, what do I plan on getting done today?”
  3. “For this story, do I have impediments?”

Since it is story based, if a team member is working on more than one story he will address his progress when it comes time to discuss the other story.

Pro(s) of this approach: Shifts from individual to story.  Keeps the team focused on trying to finish a story.  Helps to not confuse effort with results, keeps the focus on delivering business value – the story.

Con(s) of this approach: Team members will speak multiple times, but only when their work lines up with story.  All work needs to be accounted for in stories (some would argue that’s a good thing.

Give it a try.  See if works for you.

Remember, don’t just “Do Agile,” “Be Agile!”