What Time’s Your Stand-Up?

The stand-up meeting has had quite a lot of attention on my team over the last week. At our last retrospective, it was brought up as a problem that we nearly always had at least one person missing when we started the meeting. Obviously this hampers us reaching the goal of having a rich and motivating exchange of information throughout the whole team. We still get a chance to adapt the plan, but not everyone’s going to know about that if they weren’t there. I also feel it really drags down morale when the same one or two people (and it’s nearly always the same ones) appear not to be as committed as the rest.

So, like all good self-organising teams, we got together and talked about it. Yep, we had a meeting about a meeting.

During this, at times heated, discussion it became clear that we were talking about two separate issues. As well as using the stand-up to synchronise our work, we were using it as our starting-point for the day. Those who like a lie-in will tend to get themselves in just in time for stand-up, and thus their day begins.

So while the first and most obvious issue for debate was what time to have the stand-up meeting, lurking in the background was the much more thorny issue of how late it is acceptable for a team-member to turn up for work.

Fortunately we spotted this pretty much in time before the mud-slinging between the early-risers and the alarm-clock-o-phobes began. On reflection of the benefits of the meeting as a whole, we judged that providing a start-point for the day was not as important as the other benefits about communication which require every member of the team to be present. So we decided to abandon the use of the stand-up as our start to the day.

So that we can still harness the motivation that comes out of a good stand-up, we decided to hold it at 2pm, when everyone should be back from lunch and ready to blast through the afternoon.

All we can do is try it and see how it works.

What time do your team have their stand-up, and why?