What Is a Daily Standup?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore and implement Agile daily standup meetings as part of your next project management strategy. Learn how to keep your teams aligned and boost their collaboration.

[Featured image] A project manager writes on a whiteboard while leading a daily standup meeting.

In Agile project management, daily standups are brief meetings held daily to catch up with teams on how projects are progressing and to identify any blockers—its name comes from its likeness to a sports huddle. Traditionally, these meetings work on the premise that if attendees are standing, the meeting should be kept short.

Daily standup meetings don’t go into great detail. They involve high-level discussions, lasting no longer than 15 minutes, allowing participants to briefly explain their accomplishments that day, this way, everyone’s updated and aligned.

Standups are traditionally held at the same time and place every day, although many now happen virtually. Rather than an agenda that changes, the meeting always follows the same format, asking the three daily standup questions:

  1. What did you work on yesterday?

  2. What are you working on today?

  3. What are your blockers?

5 benefits of daily standup meetings

Daily standup meetings come with a number of benefits for the teams that use them, whether these are Agile teams, Scrum teams, or teams using different methodologies.

1. Collaboration: Starting the day by making sure everything is in alignment with what has been done, what everyone needs to do, and any factors that might cause an issue, means that teams are working together in unison.

2. Team building: Working in this way keeps teams close and in sync, which is excellent for team building and contributes to how comfortable people feel around each other and a shared energy to begin the day.

3. Goal-focused: Daily standups provide a focus for everyone to work towards and to stay on track. It is a space to share information and problem-solve any issues that may become apparent.

4. Accountability: Knowing that you’ll explain your progress and commit to your plans each day fosters accountability among team members.

5. Time effective: Daily standup meetings have a strict time frame, aided by the fact that they’re usually attended standing, as no one wants to be standing for long. 

Related terms

Next steps

Do you want to learn more about project management processes and tools, such as the daily standup, and the methodologies that use them? Consider working towards a Professional Certificate, such as the Google Project Management Professional Certificate on Coursera.

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