Standups are Poisonous

In my experience…

  • Morning standups force people to be in work before 10:00. Great when you’re supposed to have the benefit of flexi-time.
  • They always overrun. Rarely are standups shorter than 10 minutes. 6 person team * 30 minutes = 3 hours lost.
  • Action points are rarely produced, so the value of the outcome is questionable.
  • Others switch off if they’re not interested in the current monologue.
  • Notes are rarely taken, so by the time the weekly update gets compiled the team have to scratch their heads about what they did over the last week.


  • Team leader sends an email to the team with the subject: YYYY-MM-DD standup.
  • Team reply individually at whenever they start their working day.
  • Team leader closes off with action points and assignees.
  • Thread is printed to PDF and stored somewhere accessible.
  • Further conversation takes place in separate email / ticket / conversation. Interested parties can have their say. Others can skim-read or ignore.
  • Result of discussion emailed in tomorrows standup email.
  • Weekly update is compiled from the week’s PDFs.


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