Seven rules for running a productive stand-up meeting

In today’s fast-paced busy world, it’s tough to devote enough time to bring teammates together without derailing their workload. That’s where stand-up meetings come in. When conducted properly, daily check-ins can serve as a great tool that encourages communication and builds camaraderie.

What is a stand-up meeting?

Stand-Up Meetings

A stand-up (or a daily huddle) is a quick daily meeting designed to sync all its participants and ensure workflow transparency, thus improving team performance. First becoming a common ritual for the software development world, these 15-minute meetings are going viral across many different industries around the globe. Let’s find out what makes stand-ups gain popularity and how to set up a productive time-balanced meeting by following the best practices.

Stand-Up Meeting vs Status Meeting: Learn the Difference

Although status meetings are designed to keep your team informed about all the tasks and updates going on, in fact it's all about direct 1-on-1 communication: a project manager requests feedback about a specific task or project, a responsible employee gives a report/reports, while others scroll through social media absentmindedly.

In contrast, a stand-up meeting is about joint discussion and information exchange, and that is its main difference - and advantage - over a status meeting. 1-on-1 conversations can be held at any time, while in larger meetings it is important to keep everyone engaged and provide useful insights to all stakeholders. Those 15 minutes should be useful to all participants of the meeting.

When answering questions, people tend to refer to the person who asked them. In such situation, it is the responsibility of the stand-up host (the product owner or scrum master) to:

  • ask questions to the team, not to a certain person
  • remind the speaker to talk to all participants
  • encourage questions and clarifications from other team members.

The host's main role is to moderate and guide the discussion, not to lead it.

Daily scrum / Stand-up

Status meeting

Who is the meeting intended for?

Development team

Project manager or coordinator

Purpose of the meeting

Create a plan for the next 24 hours.

Optimize team interaction and productivity by inspecting the tasks completed after the previous daily meeting and predicting upcoming sprint tasks.

Improve communication, eliminate other meetings, identify and remove barriers, encourage quick decision-making, increase the speed of information sharing.

Update on the project status, keep the plan up to date, collect information on the lagging tasks.

Who is responsible for hosting the meeting?

Development team

Project manager or coordinator

Information flow

Team members share information with one another.

Participants report to a manager or presenter (sometimes ScrumMaster becomes the presenter -  however, it’s undesirable for the daily meeting flow).

Meeting start time

Chosen by the team

Determined by the meeting organizer

Self-organization in a team

The meeting helps to develop overall team responsibility for the result. The team determines the plan for achieving the sprint goal. Team members inspect their progress and adapt the plan accordingly.

No self-organization - participants simply share their current situation with the meeting presenter. Team members do not believe they can make decisions. The manager can dispute decisions and tell others what to do and how to do it.


Team members make a commitment to one another

Commitment to the boss, customer or sales team


The meeting increases transparency,  as all team members get to know what is going on, what others are doing, and adapt their plan for the day accordingly. The evidence-based process helps deal with complexity and unpredictability.

If information is reported to a third party, team members might be insincere, as people tend to keep problems quiet when feeling insecure. As a result, the team loses transparency and flexibility.

The plan owner often updates the current state of affairs and is not inclined to make adjustments to the plan or expresses disapproval.

Performed tasks

The team focuses on achieving tangible results, so all team members discuss challenges that may hinder the sprint goal. The plan is updated at any time if necessary to achieve the sprint goal.

The meeting aims at updating the current status, e.g., ‘the task is 80% complete’. It remains unclear how likely it is that business value will be available by the end of the sprint.


The entire team owns the plan. Team members have common goals and share responsibilities, so they are interested in working together. Team members know what their colleagues are focused on. They help each other remove obstacles and get the job done faster.

Third party owns the team plan and coordinates their work.

Smartphones and laptops

In offline meetings, the use of personal devices is usually prohibited.

The meeting may take more than 30 minutes, and while many participants are not engaged in the discussion, it may be allowed to use personal devices which, in turn, reduces the level of cooperation.

Meeting minutes

The meeting minutes are not usually taken, because this meeting is an opportunity for the team to self-organize in pursuit of the overall sprint goal. Otherwise, the team members increase control and micro-management, and their motivation drops.

Minutes are needed to take notes about all agreements and track subtasks that are not shown in the main plan.


There is little or no loss of time - the meeting is limited to 15 minutes.

Usually the meeting lasts for 30 minutes or more. After that, the minutes of the meeting are noted, drawn up and sent to stakeholders.

How to run a stand-up meeting?

Each meeting (even a small one) requires dedication and management experience. Here are 7 simplified do’s and don’ts to make the most of stand-ups and keep your initiatives running smoothly.

Rule 1: But still – standing literally?

In the traditional stand-up format, the teammates look for a way to overcome roadblocks while standing around the meeting room – no chairs or tables are required. Nevertheless, experimenting with different locations and techniques is highly recommended as it creates a cozy atmosphere and increases the energy even more. Adopt Steven Job’s habit if you desire to boost creative thinking and open up the free flow of ideas – hold a stand-up meeting while walking.

Rule 2: Stay on track – keep approach in mind

As each team operates as a unique mosaic, with its own nuances, dynamics and system players, it’s important to accept the fact that there is no cookie-cutter format for stand-up meetings. However, we recommend the round robin method (also known as the go-around tactic), where each team member takes a turn to contribute their thoughts and comments. This is an excellent strategy to motivate all participants to excel in what is expected of them.

Rule 3: The pillar of effective stand-ups

The best way to keep get-togethers efficient and affable is to establish a simple rule – everything matters – as even a short brainstorming could result in suggesting spontaneous ideas by removing inhibitions. Note them down without criticism and evaluate after the meeting. Remember that people tend to be more honest about their ideas and views when all participants operate at an equal level. Even though stand-ups are designed to address certain topics, employees should not be punished if ingenious solutions begin to form – encourage them to continue discussing online or during a coffee break.

Rule 4: Don’t let things wander off the course

The informal format of the meeting does not mean that the meeting is unorganized. The moderator makes sure the agenda is followed: it is important to keep an eye that the participants don’t wander off the topic, bury themselves in a detailed discussion or miss anything.

The meeting structure depends on the approach (Scrum or Kanban) and the type of project. This can be a discussion in which team members discuss what has been done since the last meeting, list current tasks of each team member, discuss blockers and challenges. It is also possible to go task by task (or project by project). In this case team members share updates on the tasks in which they are involved.

During a stand-up meeting, which lasts for only 15 minutes (just as much time as it takes to have a morning cup of coffee), the team can discuss current tasks, identify blockers that delay their implementation, or synchronize on the project goals.

Rule 5: Check on the progress

When you establish a task, it’s rather crucial to receive status updates and make sure everything is going well. Since stand-ups are short, everyone should stay consistent. Here is a list of questions to set the ball rolling and balance time-awareness:

  • What tasks have you accomplished?
  • Do you have any tasks still in progress? What obstacles or blockers are preventing you from completing them?
  • Do you need any assistance?
  • What are you going to work on today?
  • What interesting solutions or key findings would you like to share?

If every attendee has a sense of what questions will be covered during the stand-up, the discussion of in-progress or implemented tasks will not take long. Share the list with your employees so that they can describe their updates promptly and concisely.

Rule 6: Choose a leader

It’s difficult to imagine a high-energy stand-up without a person who understands the importance of the events and implies a deliberate effort to rally the troops. A huge mistake frequently made while planning stand-ups is to put executive and corporate concerns over all else. The leader facilitating the meeting should pay close attention to the current topics and participants’ mood, helping teammates stay on track but not bothering them.

Rule 7: Remote teammates

Remote work is still different from the typical work structure in a few ways, despite its growth in popularity over the past decade. Communication remains an obvious obstacle, as employees are not physically in the office and feel isolated. In this case, video conferencing comes in handy, enabling long-distance interaction and promoting overall collaboration without requiring constant travel!

Meetings with 1,000 users

You can take daily get-togethers to the next level with TrueConf, which serves as a powerful video conferencing tool for increasing business productivity and making remote work a win-win option for both employers and employees. TrueConf offers a team messaging app that lets users meet and collaborate in one place, hop on a meeting from any device and discuss their projects in personal and group chats. Enjoy real-time experience with 4K video and advanced team messaging capabilities!

Organize stand-up meetings that empower your team

With the rise of COVID-19, teams switch to work-from-home mode and tend to communicate asynchronously: instead of boring mandatory meetings which lack engagement, employees often feel better discussing their progress with project stakeholders in group chats created for a specific project or task. If required, any 1-on-1 or group chat can always be escalated into an intense meeting. However, such meetings are made to create a comfortable communication environment, boost decision-making and check on the project progress instead of just checking the box.

TrueConf’s team messaging platform provides teams with a convenient space for any task, from chat spaces and meetings for day-to-day communication to conferencing modes for large-scale town hall meetings. With TrueConf, your team is equipped with the right tools to excel at daily tasks, empower productivity and inspire.


The stand-up format designed for maximum productivity requires minimum preparation. The well-prepared events save time and spark collaborative brainstorming sessions, thus enhancing communication and motivating participants to act as a close-knit team. Find the way to create a comfortable environment by following our tips and make the most of the teamwork!