What is a Stand-up Meeting, what aspects need to be clarified in advance and what practical examples exist?
Meeting in a standing position
A stand-up meeting is a temporary meeting of people from an organisation that is held by all participants standing up. Often the Daily Scrum, also known as Daily Stand-Up, is used synonymously with the term stand-up meeting; in fact, it is only a variant. In the case of daily stand-ups, all organisational aspects are firmly agreed in advance of the meeting; in the case of stand-ups that take place ad hoc or in a less regular rhythm, these must be clarified:
- Place and time: Where and when does the meeting take place? Do all participants have to be on site or can they be connected via video conference, for example?
- Participants: Who takes part in the exchange and why? Are the choice, place and time made upon request or by invitation?
- Content: What is the exchange about? Are findings or decisions documented and subsequently communicated to other interested parties?
- Technology: Are technical aids permitted, desired or necessary? Are, for example, taskboards used?
- Goal: What is to be achieved through the meeting? Is the goal known to every participant and does it serve as orientation like the sprint goal in the Daily Scrum?
- Interaction: How does communication take place? May/should/must each participant contribute something to the meeting? Is there a moderator?
- Duration: How much time is allocated for the stand-up? Is a timebox agreed upon and who monitors it if necessary?
The advantage of the stand-up meeting lies in the direct, immediate interaction of the participants. Similar to a walk and talk meeting, this interaction is enhanced by the physical activity during the meeting. Ideally, participants should line up in a (half-)circle and not hide behind desks or suchlike. Since the participants are standing, the meeting should of course not last too long.
Standup meetings in practice
In practice, stand-ups take place much more often than it might seem at first glance: The Scrum of Scrums is a meeting that takes place standing up. Representatives from sales and marketing exchange ideas about a campaign in the corridor and discuss the next steps. Software and hardware developers discuss the next development steps of the upcoming release in the coffee kitchen. Employees from various departments discuss features during a cigarette break. And in the broadest sense, sportsmen and sportswomen who put themselves together in a circle for mutual motivation before the start of a game also hold a stand-up meeting.
In some internet contributions there is a discussion about whether the Daily Scrum is really a stand-up meeting, because the Scrum Guide does not say anything about a standing meeting. Of course organisations are free to hold a Daily Scrum while sitting; consequently it is not a stand-up meeting.