7 practices for running effective daily stand-ups

Run better daily stand-up meetings with these tips!

Nuel Edeh's avatar
Nuel Edeh

March 10, 2023

3 mins

What causes inefficient meetings?

What causes inefficient meetings?

Daily scrums, or stand-ups are an essential part and driving force of the agile software process. Ran by a Scrum Master, these meetings ensure that the dev team members stay aligned, make progress, and resolve roadblocks.

Originally, stand-ups were held in-person, with everyone physically standing in the same room. Sadly, this is impossible in a remote world. This makes it challenging to run effective daily scrums for remote teams. Team members are in different time zones, cultures, and languages. The challenge is worsened by the mechanical nature of most stand-up meetings. They’ve become status reports and “justify-your-job” meetings. And developers, product owners and scrum masters are starting to really hate it.

In this article, we will share some best practices for running daily stand-ups and lowering the admin burden of the agile process.

1. Set the objective and an agenda

The first step to having a productive remote stand-up meeting is to set a clear objective and agenda. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve will in-turn help you figure out better ways to achieve this.

Communicate the objective and agenda ahead of time. This will keep the meeting focused and avoid turning the meeting into a micromanagement sh*tshow. Be sure to include essential items, such as progress updates, blockers, and actions items.

2. Use asynchronous communication where possible

Due to the distributed nature of dev teams, make as much of the daily meeting asynchronous. Everyone moves at different speeds and operates differently. Async updates allow managers to gather useful sprint information in an accommodating way.

3. Pick a time that works

One huge challenge of running remote daily stand-ups, is finding a time that suits everyone's schedule. Consider the time zones, work hours, and personal commitments of team members while scheduling a meeting. Avoid overlapping with other critical meetings or deadlines.

4. Keep it short and sweet

Remote stand-up meetings should be short (10 - 15 mins) and to the point. When they’re prolonged, folks just checkout until it’s their turn to give their “status update”. Shorter meetings increase engagement and focus throughout the meeting. And ultimately leads to an efficient and productive stand-up meeting.

5. Encourage active participation

Daily stand-ups must go beyond status updates. They should be an opportunity for team members to collaborate, share ideas, and ask for help. To encourage active participation, the meeting should be structured in a way that allows everyone to speak and contribute. The team lead or Scrum Master should encourage team members to ask questions and provide feedback.

A dev team in a huddle session.

A dev team in a huddle session.

6. Foster a team culture

Remote work can be lonely. Daily scrum meetings offer a great moment to ensure everyone is present and happy. Be a little vulnerable; share and encourage others to share personal updates and anecdotes.

When everyone feels a genuine sense of connection and camaraderie, bonds are strengthened and productivity skyrockets. You can also use this time to celebrate any team member's accomplishments or milestones.

7. Follow up and follow through

Finally, running successful daily stand-ups requires follow-up and follow-through. The team lead or Scrum Master should take note of action items, blockers, and other critical items discussed. Then, follow up with the right stakeholders to ensure they are addressed.

Tracking the progress and reporting back to the team in the next meeting further builds trust.


Running daily stand-ups for distributed dev teams is challenging but essential for successful agile software development. By setting an objective and an agenda, using async communications, picking the right time and duration, encouraging active participation, and following up and following through, you can run effective daily stand-ups for your distributed dev team. Remember, daily stand-ups are not just a meeting; they are an opportunity for your team to collaborate, communicate, and achieve success together.

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