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Insights / November 25, 2013

Get Up, Stand Up: Fun Facts About the Stand-Up Meeting

By Sara Simon

If you are involved in the tech start-up community, chances are you’re familiar with the stand-up meeting. For readers who aren’t, though, here’s a brief introduction to the internal meeting process here at Software for Good.

The stand-up meeting, also known as:

  • Daily scrum
  • Daily huddle
  • Morning roll-call

Three questions are posed to each member of the team:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • What’s preventing you from making progress?


  • For everyone to be in the loop
  • To reinforce the power of a team
  • To stretch those sitting legs

No, but really, why do we have to stand up?

  • Sit-down version: When team members sit down around a conference table, the meeting might lack a sense of urgency. Distractions are likely to occur, conversations might linger, discussions could last longer than necessary, people might be inclined to chit chat, get off-topic, daydream, etc.
  • Stand-up version: Brevity.

Tips from other stand-up crowds:

  • Pass around some kind of magic speaking wand.
  • Hold the stand-up right before lunch.
  • Enforce a $1 charge to all employees who show up late. (This one seems silly. I could maybe get behind it if the money was going into a piggy bank reserved for office drinks.)

The proof is in the paper:

  • In a 1999 research study, Allen Bluedorn of the University of Missouri found that standing meetings, usually at only one-third the length of sitting meetings, produced just as quality ideas and outcomes.

Music to signal the stand-up:

Props to the Wall Street Journal for the idea behind this blog post.