Right choosing and using Daily standup meeting tools & software for distributed/remote agile teams is a daily practice that can make a team’s effectiveness over time.
In the world of Agile, the daily standup meeting is an untouchable necessity. Thus for our team, as developers of the Agile Development Assistant Standup bot, it is hard to overstate how useful these agile events are to keep everyone focused, productive, and pulling in the same direction.
For more than 5 years we’ve been helping our customers use Slack effectively and automate standup meetings, retrospectives, and other agile processes to level up their productivity. Over years of experience, we’ve faced plenty of questions regarding daily standups in agile teams.
Therefore, in this article, we’ll walk you through the main points concerning running daily stand-ups.
Key Facts about the Daily Standup Meeting in Slack for Agile teams
Daily standup meetings are short, regularly held gatherings where Agile team members come together, review progress, and triage new issues. This is the necessary practice among agile teams.
That’s it. 🙂
But this short definition does not really cover all the subtle details that distinguish an effective daily standup from a waste of time!
The point is that running such kinds of agile daily meetings must significantly increase progress, allow you to identify problems quickly, and help maintain communication within the team.
So let’s dive straight in. According to the Scrum guide:
“The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work.”Scrum.org
Hence we’ve found out that the effectiveness of the daily standup lies not just in its fact of running but in the true organization of the Scrum Master’s work. So it is important to clearly understand what a daily standup meeting is and why do actually we need to gather our employees every single day and tease them with the same recurring questions.
Committing to a time-saving meeting once every day might seem counterintuitive at first. But the standup’s bitesize, daily standup straight-to-the-point agenda is more efficient versus other meeting formats. It’s arguably also more inspiring than longer meetings held less regularly, too.
Daily Standup: How, When, and Who
Scrum is one of the most popular methodologies in product development — and with good reason.
So, we have already figured out what the daily stand-up is. Now it is essential to catch exactly how to run it so that progress speeds dramatically.
That very desired effectiveness of team standup is achieved through a variety of factors, such as time limits, sticking to an agile daily standup agenda, the correctness of the questions asked, and the brevity and capacity of the answer. So on scrum events, there are three cornerstone daily standup questions that typically make up an effective scrum meeting:
Here’s a typical example of how one might respond to these questions:
What did you do yesterday?
Yesterday I finished work on the design of an article for the project and published it on the blog.
What will you do today?
Today I will analyze the topic for a new article on a project and discuss it with colleagues.
What blockers stand in your way?
Initially, I chose the wrong writing algorithm, this time I will try to change it.
Get it? Sharp and concise. Then move to the next attendee 🙂
The time is right!
Another key fact about your Daily
The Scrum Master as a facilitator of the agile standup meeting keeps the daily stand up within the 15-minute time-box. These scrum events are not meant to be long, rambling get-togethers, but rather a quick, effective way to gather the team and make sure that everyone’s on the same page.
To reduce complexity, it is held at the same time and place every working day preferably in the morning. Since this will provoke people as soon as they come to work, the first thing to do is “tune-up their minds”, remember the previous day’s tasks, and prepare a plan for the current day. Daily standup meetings are never canceled!
Who is welcome to join?
The main rule of all Agile teams: the strength is each individual member
According to the rules of scrum daily meeting, only The Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner attend and participate in daily standup events. But as practice shows, everybody that belongs to the team can join and speak up! They could be testers, designers, marketing people, etc. If the team is comfortable and sees value in others’ presence just go ahead!
Make your Agile Daily Standup Meeting in Slack Effective
Stop Doing It Wrong!
Our Standuply expert team has been monitoring various practices for a long time, we’ve tried on some of them for ourselves. So now we’re ready to share.
Here are 7 top tips on how to get a hundred and ten percent out of daily standup meetings In Slack.
Don’t Sit Down
They’re called standups for a reason…
Remember, standup meetings should be short and to the point. Standing is one of the best ways to make sure your daily get-togethers don’t drag on for too long. So make sure there are no chairs or tables nearby. If possible, hold the meeting in an open space or a room without chairs.
Stick to the Three Questions
To help keep everyone on track, the best way to keep your stand-up meeting format focused is to stick to three main topics.
This stand-up meeting template help to keep the meeting focused on individual tasks and how those relate to the larger group strategy. Anything that needs further attention can be dealt with between relevant parties after the meeting.
Keep it Short and Sharp
Stand-up meetings are inherently short as people generally don’t like standing for hours on end. Your goal is to keep the team aligned, so avoid detailed explanations about each task and stop team members who do so, of course, in a polite way.
Pace and Energy
A daily stand-up is meant to inject energy into its participants. Use the beginning and endings of the meeting as a great opportunity to increase the energy even further. Here the sky’s the limit for your imagination. You can turn on a popular mood track while a team’s gathering, and offer breathing or physical activity before the start – it helps to run meetings on a lighter note. At the end clear the serious atmosphere by sharing a motivational quote or a good-natured joke.
If the team works remotely, a trending gif or a funny meme came in the feedback is also a great way to finish.
Have a Clear Standup Agenda
The most productive meetings have a clear and set agile daily stand-up agenda. Make sure your stand-up meeting has a set agenda and doesn’t go off-topic (unless there’s a good reason).
One example of an agenda:
1. Gathering. You can turn on the music, share the latest news, or include a presentation with a motivational quote.
2. Main body. Everyone begins to answer the holy trinity of standup questions in turn. Here you can come up with an unusual order of priority and use some stand-up best practices and ideas to determine the order of speaking at the team meeting including:
- Round robin – the next person on the left/right has to continue;
- Passing the baton – the person who is done presenting passes a sacred item (it could be heavy enough so that a person has a desire to get rid of it as soon as possible) to a teammate of their choice, and that person has to continue;
- Workflow state – go over the board and start with the Kanban cards that are furthest to the right, usually done or close to being finished. Respectively each card’s owner must talk about it.
3. Final. You can end on a cheerful note by telling a joke or sharing a funny meme in a presentation. Well, or just wish your colleagues a good working day.
Same Time, Same Place
No matter what your team meeting cadence, it’s important that your daily stand-up event is at the same time whenever you do meet, so your team is able to plan around it.
It’s also important to choose a time when everyone involved is generally available. Many Agile teams opt for daily stand-up meetings first thing in the morning, but if you have remote employees in different time zones, you may have to schedule it for later. Or just automate this process by using various daily standup meeting tools for scrum meeting events. They will easily solve the timezone problem and organize replies by sending them to Scrum Manager.
Make it easy to connect!
If your team is spread out and connecting remotely for the daily stand-up meeting, make sure the team has access to an easy-to-use video conferencing solution that works across multiple devices or uses other various daily standup tools to automate your agile events.
Daily Standup Meeting Tools in Slack and in MS Teams
Daily standup meetings in Slack and in Microsoft Teams are good practices coming from agile that many Agile teams beyond the development teams have adopted. But the point is that companies all over the world are tending to send their employees home to work online. And the need for team members to stay connected, maintain transparency, and foster collaboration is both a necessity and a challenge.
For this reason tools for remote and asynchronous work have grown in popularity. The solutions outlined in this article will help you to structure and facilitate a remote daily stand-up for your team.
1. Conferencing Software
The first type of daily standup meeting tools are conferencing tools. There are many conferencing solutions available to choose from. There are intuitive, easy-to-use, and reliable video conferencing platforms on the market many of which are helpfully built into our everyday devices. All this allows us to keep virtual eye contact, share the screen, demonstrate presentations, and discuss some issues in a working chat.
Zoom is the most popular video conferencing software that helps us to gather together wherever we go. Ultimately everyone knows and has tried it in action at least once. Zoom is a great daily standup tool that amplifies the efficiency of remote teams through face-to-face meetings.
So here are strong Zoom pros you need to recap:
- the free zoom app includes up to 100 participants to join
- High-quality video and sound.
- works on Android phones and tablets, other mobile devices, Windows, Mac, Zoom Rooms, H.323/SIP room systems, and telephones.
- Reach people instantly to easily send messages, files, images, links
- Public and chat channels
- up to 50 breakout rooms for separate discussions
- Screen sharing, video recording and sharing, instant link sharing, and private and group chat box access.
As statistics show, today most agile teams go for Slack, a proprietary business communication platform, and settle down there as a workspace to interact. That makes sense as no third parties are needed – one single platform for any kind of internal communication. Slack as a daily standup tool performs great – all in one app (calls, chats, plans, and standups).
- calls/huddles are built-in the platform
- public and shared “channels” within the company
- covers a long list of app integrations with other tools and services
- high level of user privacy and data protection
- functions on all types of devices with high-quality work
Another top platform for remote teams with the built-in program for video conferencing software is MS Teams. This standup tool is a great alternative to Slack with its own interface and user-friendly management.
Microsoft Teams pros:
- all in one app (calls, chats, plans)
- free 60-minute meetings (up to 100 participants)
- signing in from a phone, laptop, or any other device
- all sensitive information is protected with data encryption
- excellent connection quality
2. Digital Tasks Tools
The next keystone instrument for daily standup meetings is digital task board tools. Similar to the physical world, utilizing a digital task board as the focal point of discussion during your remote daily stand-up helps team members connect with their work at a deeper level and think more deeply about a task, its requirements, and their commitments.
There are a lot of solutions on the market now, such as Trello, Jira, Click up and etc. All of them as an alternative to physical surfaces.
Trello is a web-based, Kanban-style, list-making application and one of the perfect standup meeting tools as well. Behind all scrum events stand task planning so Trello is widely used in many scrum ceremonies such as daily standup, backlog refinement, planning poker, kanban standup, etc).
- organize almost anything, from projects to daily tasks
- easy to collaborate as a team (assign member to a given task, correct it, move it, etc)
- feature-rich with the help of plugins
- Good visual overview of tasks (attach images and URLs, rich details in a tile, etc)
Jira acts as an excellent alternative to Trello in bug tracking and agile project management fields. Ultimately it has become commonplace to implement these task trackers in scum processes as essential standup tools.
- supports roadmap requirements
- integrates with popular third-party software (over 1,800 apps from the Atlassian Marketplace)
- highly customizable
- great software for project tracking
- free/Freemium Version
- estimate stories, adjust sprint scope, check velocity, and re-prioritize issues
3. Standup Bot Software for Daily Meetings
And the last but not less important among daily standup meeting tools are standup bots for Slack and MS Teams. This is your digital Scrum Master which integrates with relevant conferencing tools. It is used today for the automation of Agile and Scrum rituals in remote and distributed Agile teams. It automates practically all processes in Project Management in Slack such as daily standup meetings, retrospectives, backlog grooming, planning poker, sprint planning, and more.
This daily standup tool today is a real scrum master assistant for both remote teams and office ones. Therefore, today every agile team should make friends with a standup bot and learn how to interact with it to drive progress.
📌Learn more about the best standup bots in our top articles. There we’ve made an in-depth comparison of standup bots in 2022 for Slack and Microsoft Teams workspaces. Read and choose the best one for your team!
Slack Standup Bot: Features, Benefits, and Strengths
The bots are taking over
With a standup meeting bot, users can run multiple reports on a schedule or asynchronously. They can pick a schedule to run online daily meetings with the team.
Doesn’t matter what your time zone is
Daily standup events can be tied to any time zone or to each member’s local time. At the scheduled standup time, Bot will reach out to selected people in Slack or MS Teams and ask them the pre-defined questions.
Automation of the process
The Bot then collects all the answers and delivers reports via Slack, direct message, email, or webhook. Team answers can be configured to arrive as separate messages or packed in a thread.
Users can attach voice or video messages to the standup reports. The recorded message will be uploaded to the bot’s webpage, and the link is shared in Slack.
Templates, Custom Questions, Agile Charts, Metrics, Integrations, and more
The Bot gives users the option to try pre-defined templates or create their custom questions. It can also be used to track team performance by building Jira burndown chart, project flow diagram, and team analytics dashboard. Users can enrich the report with data from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Stripe, and Trello, in one single report.
Benefits of Remote Daily Standup Meeting in Slack with tools
No time zone pain – It doesn’t matter what your time zone is, all can be conducted asynchronously.
Even shorter – Online asynchronous daily standup requires even less time than a typical offline daily standup meeting (2-3 minutes).
Automation – All responses are well-structured and quick-sent to the Scrum Manager.
Comprehensive Integrations – Daily Standup meeting tools integrate with a variety of apps such as Google Calendar, Slack, MS Teams, Google Analytics, Jira, etc.
Tracking Task Progress – It is easy to see which stage in the project everyone is in and how you and your team are arriving at your goals.
Responsive Customer Support – All task management solutions for remote daily standups offer quick chat /email /video conference responses in case you need help.
Ease of Use – It’s not difficult to run daily standup meetings in Slack or MS Teams remotely! There are many solutions on the market that will help you. They can be used by beginners and expert project managers alike. They can be adopted by any remote team as well.
Read More about Standup bots
Standup bots in MUO, one of the largest online technology publications on the web that has shared valuable insights into remote work challenges. In their newest article, they’re touching on the point of Standup bots for Slack and MS Teams and analyzing their functionality.
“We love Standuply because it’s got deep roots in the world of Agile project management. Contrary to popular belief, this extremely collaborative, hands-on way of working remotely translates well to a number of other industries, however.EMMA GAROFALO, MUO Team
We hope you enjoyed the content of our article. Keep in mind the basic rules and best practices of daily standup meetings. Feel free to use all our recommendations and tips for your daily team meetings. Experiment with different group sizes, discussion methods, meeting times and locations until the stand-up finds its sweet spot. And of course, maintain a positive team environment and go ahead!Your Standuply Team