Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a Stand-up meeting?

Stand-up meeting is a productivity enhancement tool that project managers make use of in order to facilitate the ideal development environment for a product developer team.It sees special use in software development as the method known as Agile software development process. Two styles of stand-up meetings under the Agile process predominate in use among many business enterprises. These are the Scrum style stand-up meeting and the Kanban style stand-up meeting. Stand-up meetings are designed to be very short.Fact is, the reason why these very short meetings are called stand-up meetings is that discomfort in standing up would release the desire among participants to end the meeting as soon as possible. Thus on the average, a stand-up meeting lasts for only 5 to 15 minutes. Standard questionnaires for a usual stand-up are the following: What have I accomplished? What will I do today? What are the obstacles impeding my progress? And What have progressed so far? These questions necessitate a response from each member attendee and their responses are then sorted out culminating into an overview of team status where potential mitigating or illuminating developments are then resolved.Within the very short timeframe of 5 to 15 minutes, attendees are updated on project status, gives their opinions on project obstacles and receives guidance from the project manager also called the Scrum Master.
Scrum is a rugby football term meaning a tight pack of players. The term was applied to a kind of stand-up meeting because topics in a typical stand-up meeting are somewhat like footballs being passed from player to player. As a particular topic develops in a stand-up meeting, it gets passed from one attendee to another, until everyone gets their say on the topic. The minutes of the meeting are then recorded and filed into an archive for review later on.

Stand-up meetings are guided by a principle of accountability to clients. Project team members must always keep in mind that clients can always bring in new inputs regarding their interests and that they must respond to these new client inputs satisfactorily.The team accepts the notion of unpredictability in the development process thus focuses in rapid delivery to new client requirements and responding to unforeseen challenges.

Who does Stand-up meetings and why?

Project teams are on the frequent lookout for new ideas for their product. Stand-up meeting is a venue for creativity where new ideas might come up in the process of questions and answers between the team members.Stand-up is one example of a self-organizing system where developments arise from within, among the team members. The members of a typical Scrum are cross functional across several platforms enabling each member to see the contingencies that his particular work might entail in the other platforms. This holistic strategy in product development is what stand-ups such as Scrum are all about. With this view in mind, overall productivity is enhanced with this close collaboration among team members.

How to do a Stand-up Meeting

Scrum meetings does not have a strict methodology of working for every company. Instead, everyone who knows how to Scrum has their own version of it according to their imagination. A Scrum method is worked out by a Scrum master, the product owner and the Scrum team members according to the extent of their capabilities as well as the resources limits. Typically, a daily scrum or stand-up meeting is comprised of the following:

  • A same time each day meeting
  • All Team members are standing up in order to emphasize a to the point discussion of all matters.
  • It is timed from 5 to 15 minutes
  • Obeys the ensuing format: What have I done? What are the obstacles impeding progress in my work and What will I be doing in the next 24 hours?

Advantages of Stand-up meetings

Daily stand-up meetings enable team members to spot potential trouble spots early on in the ballgame. Before things get too problematic, the problem can be erased with the applied concerted efforts of all team members including the Scrum Master himself towards the problem. Adjustments can also be easily implemented by the Scrum Master as required by specific scenarios that may develop.

Disadvantages of Stand-up meetings

Daily stand-ups however also have their drawbacks. For one thing, it is not a perfect communication model for specialized individuals (the team members) with diversified talents. Daily stand-ups can also be home to rationalizations. Rationalization is defined as the act of making excuses and indeed team members in a certain daily Scrum stand-up meeting could end up making excuses for failures by stating that they have already mentioned the problem to the Scrum Master and therefore it has become his responsibility.

Best practices for Stand-up meetings

For best results to be obtained in a Scrum stand-up meeting, the Scrum Master should leave the details of the development to the Team members. A Scrum Master is not probably properly equipped with the knowledge and the skills that are required to handle important technical details. On the other hand, the members of a cross-functional team each have their own specializations. They are, therefore, in the best capable position to handle technical matters. Scrum Masters are best positioned in handling administrative tasks such as conferring with the product owner on priority subject matters. The team must arrive at decisions in the most concise manner as possible. The daily stand-up meeting must obey certain principles in order to be efficient. One is the principle of organizing Backlogs. Backlogs are the list of a Scrum stand-up meeting’s priorities. Priorities should be ordered with the most realistically achievable target first. Also product owner’s inputs regarding priorities are of utmost importance.

How to do a Stand-up meeting with Teamreporter

Efficiency is the key to any project development strategy. And this is where Teamreporter delivers. Automatic and simple to operate,it is a web-based email app that allows any project team member to concentrate on his specialized tasks while at the same time participating in all the necessary team status updates. With minimal hands-on activity on the part of the team member, Teamreporter gives him access to team status updates automatically and when he needs it. In case a team member forgets, Teamreporter immediately sends reminders. Questions are not limited to the typical Scrum questionnaires. Scrum Masters can tailor suit the questions to fit the development strategy needs.All the pertinent details of a normal stand-up meeting are now contained in a structured manner in the web app Teamreporter. The simplicity of Teamreporter allows management of production development by even minimal efforts on the part of the manager. In this light, the complicated duties inherent in stand-ups are best delegated to a capable automated management app like Teamreporter. With the easy to operate interfaces of Teamreporter, a complete alternative to a daily stand-up meeting can be put up in a matter of minutes especially for remote working teams.The operation of Teamreporter in itself is very simple yet complies with all the requirements of a normal stand-up meeting:

  • Teamreporter asks the members of a team via email for their accomplishments, impediments and their important event of the day.
  • Upon collection of all the team member replies, these are analyzed and put into an overview of team status then sent again to each team member the following day.
  • The whole team gets updated on current team status and progress, identifies potential problems without any need for status meetings.

With Teamreporter app, product development reaches another height.

Alternatives to Stand-up meetings

Of course there are the usual and traditional alternatives like phone conferences, management softwares, and circular mails.But by using these, a little more effort and time are used than when using Teamreporter. For one thing, phone conferences have to be scheduled for everyone on the team and that could prove difficult, softwares are always complicated and replying to circular mails can be unstructured and disorderly. Teamreporter negates the disadvantages of a typical daily stand-up meeting and also all these other alternatives.

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