G2 Spring 2024 Report] Hatica does it again! Wins Momentum Leader, Best Est. ROI and Users Love Us badge among many!Read More ->


Daily Stand-up Meetings for Dev Teams: The Ultimate Guide

Daily standup meetings are a popular scrum practice, especially for engineering teams. Here’s everything on standup meetings and its async avatar.
Hatica standups

Daily standup meetings are a traditional practice for scrum teams, especially for engineering teams.

Since its inception almost three decades ago, standup meetings have aligned the team’s efforts and kept everyone in the know during the software development process. The stand-up meeting enables dev teams to align with project and business goals, share progress, maintain accountability, and resolve blockers and challenges in an agile manner.

Whether you’re a seasoned expert at standups or relatively new to the game, this guide will help you gain an in-depth understanding of stand-up meetings and provide actionable tips on how to run excellent stand-ups.

What is a Daily Standup Meeting in Scrum?

The stand-up meeting is a concise, nevertheless, informative meeting in which team members share updates about their progress in their tasks and discuss blockers, if any. It also allows the team leader to set the objectives for the team and ensure alignment.

Types of Stand Up Meetings

There are typically two main flavors of stand-up meetings that teams commonly use to stay connected and on track:

  1. Synchronous (in-person or video call)
  2. Asynchronous (online updates)

1. Synchronous Stand-Up Meetings (in-person or video call)

Synchronous stand-up meetings, conducted either in-person or through video calls, are a cornerstone of the scrum methodology. These real-time interactions foster immediate communication and connection among team members. In-person meetings allow for face-to-face collaboration, promoting a sense of unity and camaraderie. And if it's a video call, it's like having a meeting even if the team is scattered all over the place.

Now, coming to asynchronous stand-up meetings.

2. Asynchronous Stand-up Meetings (Online Updates)

Hatica Check-ins on web and Slack

Asynchronous standups are an essential component of the asynchronous work model. In async work, individual tasks are completed without real time collaboration. Similarly, in async stand up meetings, participants are able to provide their stand-up updates at a time that is most convenient to them, when they have taken stock of their activities and contributions and have fully understood and are able to anticipate any blockers. 

The async stand up allows developers to provide a well-thought out update when they are ready and primed to do so.

Choosing between synchronous and asynchronous depends on what the team needs and where everyone is. Both ways are about helping teams talk well, keep track of progress, and solve problems together in the flexible world of scrum. It's like picking the best tool for the job!

What is the Purpose of Standup Meetings?

Software development teams use the stand-up meeting to focus on blockers, if any, that are hindering progress so that the team can plan strategies to overcome them. The team collaborates and calibrates by discussing progress, game plans, and bottlenecks to ensure successful delivery. Essentially, the standup meetings aids in team cooperation and communication keeps the team in the loop of progress made, and provide guidance and solutions when needed. 

Why Use the 3-question Format of Daily Stand-up Meetings?

To understand the importance and structure of stand-up meetings, it's insightful to look at the roots of the concept. Jeff Sutherland and his founding members at Scrum knew the possible fallouts of having a standup meeting while they invented the concept initially. To ensure standups don’t go rogue, they devised a 3-step questionnaire and two key rules: the format and the duration of the standup. An ideal standup should cover 15 minutes and include details:

  1. What did you accomplish yesterday?
  2. What are you working on today?
  3. Are there any blockers in your way?

This success formula helped Jeff achieve a 400% increase in velocity at the trial stage itself and became an industry standard, especially for remote, hybrid teams.

Now let’s talk about the types of stand-up meetings:

What Are the Benefits of Daily Standup Meetings?

A daily stand-up meeting provides several benefits for teams and projects. Let us try to understand them:

1. Improved communication

By gathering daily, team members can share updates, progress, and challenges concisely and transparently. This enhances communication within the team, fosters a shared understanding of project status, and encourages collaboration.

2. Enhanced team coordination

The stand-up meeting allows team members to align their efforts, identify dependencies, and ensure everyone works towards common goals. It promotes a sense of unity and coordination among team members, reducing duplication of work and improving overall efficiency.

3. Increased visibility and transparency

The daily stand-up meeting offers visibility into individual and team progress. It enables everyone to stay informed about what tasks have been completed, what is currently in progress, and what obstacles may hinder progress. This transparency helps identify potential bottlenecks and enables early intervention to keep projects on track.

4. Quick issue identification

By regularly sharing challenges and obstacles, the stand-up meeting facilitates the early identification of issues. Team members can address problems collaboratively, seek assistance, and proactively find solutions. This enables timely problem resolution, minimizing potential negative impacts on project timelines.

5. Accelerated decision-making

The stand-up meeting provides a forum for quick decision-making. If some issues or decisions require input from multiple team members, they can be addressed during the meeting or assigned for further discussion. This streamlines the decision-making process, reducing delays and ensuring projects progress smoothly.

6. Fostered accountability

The stand-up meeting fosters a sense of accountability among team members by sharing daily progress and commitments. Everyone knows each other's tasks and objectives, promoting a culture of responsibility and ownership. This accountability encourages individuals to meet their obligations and deliver results.

7. Continuous improvement

The stand-up meeting acts as a regular checkpoint for teams to reflect on their progress, adapt their plans, and identify areas for improvement. It provides an opportunity to discuss lessons learned, share best practices, and implement changes that enhance productivity and quality over time.

What are The Shortcomings of a Regular Standup Meeting?

Run stand-ups using Hatica check-ins

Even tried and tested processes can be subject to snags. Here are the most common pitfalls to watch for while running daily standup meetings:

1. Hurried responses 

Dev team standups are an essential tool to ensure that the team is progressing towards successfully completing sprints and project roadmap milestones. When the stand up is treated as just a check-in call without providing detailed inputs into their task status, difficulties and expected timelines of completion, dev managers lose the opportunity to course-correct, modify, or calibrate project roadmaps. 

Dev teams should take their time in thinking about their activities and efforts and also any blockers they might need help on. They should retrospect on their contributions and anticipate potential blockers to provide in-depth updates that not only help keep the entire team in the loop of events but also provide valuable insight into potential risks or challenges. 

2. Lack of data-driven discussions

When developers provide only anecdotal updates without a data perspective into their efforts and blockers, it can derail the optimization of team roadmaps and resources.

Team collaborating

Software engineering teams can use the data from their teammates' standups alongside larger project data to get a holistic view of the team’s and project’s status. It can paint a picture of how the team is aligned to not just succeeding at a given project but it also helps gain insight into the team’s efforts that contribute to larger organizational goals. In addition to this, data about goal alignment, team member well-being, and team cohesion metrics can help dev teams to communicate, calibrate, and steer contributions towards intended goals.

3. Inconvenient meeting times

Apart from keeping the meeting duration consistent, managers should also ensure the stand-up meeting is carried out at a time that is convenient for everyone involved. Since most software engineering teams are distributed, this might be a challenge for dev managers. 

4. Unequal participation

There is a chance that some members shy away from sharing information during the meeting for many reasons. Conducting stand-ups daily helps managers identify the individuals who regularly avoid focus. This can help managers devise strategies to improve team participation and to encourage the teammates to step forward and share information.

5. Not raising blockers at all

Some participants may only answer the first two questions in the stand-up meeting agenda and skip the part where they share the challenges faced entirely. Managers should stay in the loop of the reported blockers that their teammates face and corroborate this with their team’s metrics such as activity reports, cycle time, code churn rate, and other metrics to anticipate roadblocks and challenges and to preempt them.

6. Lengthy discussions

As with any meeting, a stand-up also requires strict adherence to the meeting agenda - of answering the three questions within a reasonable time frame. Digressions and lengthy discussions can lead to prolonged meetings that are counterintuitive to the timeboxed nature of this meeting. Any other follow-up discussions that require more time should be dealt with after the stand-up involving only the relevant stakeholders. 

A productive daily standup should focus on solving teammates’ blockers. So, if a team member raises a blocker, they should be encouraged to share the issue in detail so the others can collectively provide solutions to unblock it. 

7. Lack of documentation of meeting outcomes 

The traditional standup meeting doesn’t mandate note-keeping meeting minutes. Thus, when participants raise blockers or even bring up achievements and contributions, the risk of losing attention and following up on these issues is quite high. Dev teams must prioritize documentation of points raised in standups to ensure credibility, and accountability, to prevent repetition of blockers in the future, and to plan for risk mitigation.

8. Potential Overemphasis on Individual Updates

One common pitfall in regular stand-up meetings is a tendency to focus too much on individual updates, potentially neglecting the broader team perspective. While individual progress is crucial, there's a risk of losing sight of the collective goals and project roadmap. Teams should strike a balance by periodically zooming out to discuss how individual efforts align with the overall team objectives. This helps maintain a holistic understanding of the project's status and ensures that individual contributions are contributing effectively to the team's overarching goals. Striking this balance ensures that the stand-up remains a collaborative effort rather than a series of isolated updates.

What Are the Right Tools for Effective Stand-up Meetings?

As teams shift towards adopting asynchronous (async) stand-up meetings, they often rely on familiar communication tools. In our research with hundreds of dev teams, we've found that popular choices include Zoom, Loom videos, Slack, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Some teams also explore various digital workplace products.

While there are many stand-up tools available, not all offer seamless cross-tool integrations for comprehensive team management. Here's where products like Check-Ins from Hatica stand out. Check-Ins simplifies the process of hosting async daily stand-up meetings with an easy setup, intuitive scheduling, and a focus on preserving team members' productive time.

Hatica's Check-Ins feature is highly customizable, allowing users to modify questions, set check-in times, pre-approve submitters, and assign viewers. This minimizes the effort needed for team members to share updates while maintaining visibility and traceability of progress.

Hatica Check-Ins is an integrated feature within the Hatica dashboard, specifically designed to streamline asynchronous standup meetings. This tool provides a hassle-free setup, intuitive scheduling, and robust customization options, ensuring that participants can contribute without compromising their focus time. Here's how managers can leverage Hatica Check-Ins:

Step 1: Select the Check-In Option on the Hatica Dashboard

Navigate to the Hatica Dashboard and choose the Check-In option to initiate the async standup process.

Step 2: Create a New Check-In

Use the "Create a new check-in +" option to start a new async standup session.

Choose from existing templates or create a custom template based on team preferences.

Hatica check-in templates for async standups

Step 3: Customize Questions

Populate the template with standard standup meeting questions.

Modify the format to include any number of questions, providing flexibility for unique team needs.

Bonus Point: Search and Add Participants Easily

Hatica allows team leads to search and add participants seamlessly, whether by roles, names, departments, or pre-configured groups.

Daily Check-in for Dev Team

Step 4: Schedule and Configure

Set the check-in schedule to occur daily, weekly, or monthly, catering to team preferences.

Configure the time for participants to receive check-in notifications, automatically adjusted to their local time zones.

Step 5: Choose Reporting Channels

Select the channels where participants' response reports will be shared, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, or emails.

Extended View of Daily Check-in for Dev Team

Step 6: Experience Hatica Check-Ins

Dev Team Daily Check-in Reporting Channel & Frequency Reports

Put the configured check-in into action, allowing participants to contribute asynchronously to the team's progress.

Async standup responses at Hatica check-in

Hatica Check-Ins offers a comprehensive dashboard that visualises critical details, including questions, participants, third-party integrations, and full-fledged reports, all in one place. With this tool, teams can elevate their async standup meetings, fostering improved communication, collaboration, and transparency.

Explore the benefits of Hatica's Check-Ins and transform your standup meetings into a more efficient and insightful experience.

💡Interested in exploring async stand-ups with Hatica? Try Check-Ins, for free →

Share this article:
Table of Contents
  • What is a Daily Standup Meeting in Scrum?
  • Types of Stand Up Meetings
  • 1. Synchronous Stand-Up Meetings (in-person or video call)
  • 2. Asynchronous Stand-up Meetings (Online Updates)
  • What is the Purpose of Standup Meetings?
  • Why Use the 3-question Format of Daily Stand-up Meetings?
  • What Are the Benefits of Daily Standup Meetings?
  • 1. Improved communication
  • 2. Enhanced team coordination
  • 3. Increased visibility and transparency
  • 4. Quick issue identification
  • 5. Accelerated decision-making
  • 6. Fostered accountability
  • 7. Continuous improvement
  • What are The Shortcomings of a Regular Standup Meeting?
  • 1. Hurried responses 
  • 2. Lack of data-driven discussions
  • 3. Inconvenient meeting times
  • 4. Unequal participation
  • 5. Not raising blockers at all
  • 6. Lengthy discussions
  • 7. Lack of documentation of meeting outcomes 
  • 8. Potential Overemphasis on Individual Updates
  • What Are the Right Tools for Effective Stand-up Meetings?
  • Step 1: Select the Check-In Option on the Hatica Dashboard
  • Step 2: Create a New Check-In
  • Step 3: Customize Questions
  • Bonus Point: Search and Add Participants Easily
  • Step 4: Schedule and Configure
  • Step 5: Choose Reporting Channels
  • Step 6: Experience Hatica Check-Ins

Ready to dive in? Start your free trial today

Overview dashboard from Hatica