J. Yip. It's Not Just Standing Up: Patterns for Daily Standup Meetings. 2006.

Yip discusses aspects of effective standups by answering the following questions:

  • Who attends?
  • What to talk about?
  • What order to talk in?
  • Where and when?
  • How to keep the energy level up?

Who attends? Everyone directly involved or interested in the project and its progress should attend to a single daily standup. In this sense, the standup should replace parts of the daily reports.

What to talk about? The purpose of the standup is fulfilled by everyone answering the following questions:

  • What did I do yesterday?
  • What am I doing to do today?
  • What obstacles am I blocked by?

Yip discusses several variations and extensions of this basic scheme, but the above questions is the minimum information required.

What order to talk in? Yip discusses several options:

  • (Counter-) Clockwise.
  • Last arrival starts.
  • Take a card: everybody draws a card with a number on it - the highest (or lowest) number starts.
  • Work items: the order of the work items (and their priority) define the order.

Where and when? Avoid overhead by walking to meeting rooms, changing meeting rooms often (and scheduling them). Meet in the workspace if possible or use a nearby meeting room and schedule it the same time every day. The time, however, may depend on the working times within the team.

How to keep the energy level up? Yip discusses several ideas in order to keep developers engaged during the standup:

  • Huddle and stand up: being close enough for a comfortable volume and linking physical engagement to the short duration of the standup.
  • Fifteen minutes or less.
  • Signal the end: there should be a clear signal when the standup ends.
  • Take it offline: socializing and resolving problems should be avoided during the standup.
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