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9 Really Simple Tips to Run an Effective Stand-up Meeting

Tips to Run an Effective Stand-up Meeting
Stand-up meetings, also called scrum meetings, are a daily-held meetings where a team gathers to provide a status update on the progress of the work done everyday, discuss target for the day, and any hurdles they are facing in getting it done. Here are a few pointers to run your stand-up meeting effectively.
Jyoti Babel
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2018
The term 'stand-up' with regards to meetings has been coined from the practice of having the attendees remain standing during the meeting. The discomfort caused by standing long hours helps in keeping the meeting short and to the point.
When you are working in a team, it is very important that all the team members are synchronized towards achieving a common goal. Running a stand-up meeting daily is a tool to achieve that.
When conducted effectively, it helps the team stay aligned to set targets, provides visibility, catches loopholes and obstacles early, and also helps evaluate the overall status of a project. In a nutshell, it is important for better overall communication and performance.
Yet, it is seen that many times, these stand-up meetings go wrong, and instead of being productive, they become a total waste of time. Many things can go wrong - the meeting stretching over its stipulated time, team members getting distracted, trailing off the topic, etc.
In order to run an effective and rewarding stand-up meeting, you should stick to certain rules. Here are some tips that will help you run your stand-up meeting effectively.
Fix a Time
Ideally, the stand-up meeting should be held at a fixed time everyday. This will help all the team members to get into a routine and plan their own work accordingly. Having it daily also helps in continuously assessing the overall status of a project.
Remove Distractions
Lady with mobile
Make a rule for not allowing any gadgets while the meeting is on. Without any distractions, the time allocated for the meeting can be utilized in an effective manner.
Keep Standing
Standing meeting
As the name suggests, these meetings are to be conducted standing. When a team starts with a stand-up meeting, they generally follow the rule of standing in the beginning. As time passes by, some members may try to sit or go somewhere.
One should understand that to keep standing is not just a formality, but an important factor of a stand-up meeting, so as to make it effective. It helps keep a check on the time. The logic is simple, nobody wants to stand for an hour and talk. To make is easy, hold the meeting in a room where there are no chairs.
Don't Wait
People standing
It is expected that everybody arrives on time for the stand-up meeting. If somebody doesn't turn up on time, there is not point in wasting the time of everybody else by waiting for them.
Instead, the meeting should start at its scheduled time, and the others can join later. If late coming becomes a regular thing, the defaulters should be taken to task.
Define the Meeting Agenda
Meeting agenda
It is very important to have a predefined agenda for a stand-up meeting.
In order to get the status of each team member and to evaluate the status of the project more objectively, make every one answer these three basic questions.

√ What work they have done since the last meeting?
√ What is their job-target for today?
√ Is there any major issue in achieving the target today?
Keep it Short
Keeping it short and concise is another key factor for an effective stand-up meeting. If the meeting runs over an hour, then surely it is not a stand-up meeting. People will lose interest and that itself makes it pointless to have a stand-up meeting in the first place.
Stipulate 3 - 5 minutes to every individual to put their points across. By defining your meeting agenda, you can achieve that. Also, it is important that all team members prepare for the meeting in advance.
Make it More Visual
Presentation on whiteboard
Instead of just ranting off the status of the tasks, it is more effective to use a physical status board like a large whiteboard or a wall. You can make a chart with rows for tasks to be done, tasks in progress, and task not started yet.
Not for Problem Solving
One of the mistakes a facilitator of stand-up makes is to solve the problems of team members then and there, in the meeting.
Stand-ups should only be about having a status update, and not problem solving. It is not worthwhile to waste everybody's time on an individual's problem. Instead, schedule a separate meeting for problem-solving with the individual in question. If you start discussing problems in stand-up meetings, then it is bound to stretch over its stipulated time.
Focus on the Team
Meeting room
Although a facilitator or a scrum master is running the meeting, the focus should not be on him.
While speaking, the team members should address the team and not the facilitator. This is an important factor for effective communication among team members.
These small steps will ensure that your stand-up meetings are productive and rewarding. It may take a bit of time to establish a sound stand-up process, but once it is in place, the rewards it reaps are very beneficial.