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Insights / Press

Daily stand-up with thirteen people

April 29, 2015
Thomas LayhThomas LayhDevelopment

Thomas Layh describes one possible solution to a basic Scrum problem: How can the daily stand-up meeting be limited to just 15 minutes in large teams?

The Agile Alliance Guide lists the three questions used to structure daily stand-up meetings as:

  • What have you completed since the last meeting?
  • What do you plan to complete by the next meeting?
  • What is getting in your way?

This is fine – in principle. What happens, though, if the team is very large and answering the questions often ends up in lengthy discussions? In this particular case team size is 13, which gives everyone less than 70 seconds to tell the team what each person is working on.

To speed things up, the team introduced the “3-hands-rule”. If, during the stand-up, three team members raise their hand, then the discussion is interrupted immediately. If more discussion is needed, it takes place outside the daily. Alternatively, one of the persons involved in the discussion can convice the team that the information is of interest to everyone, in which case discussion continues. However, don't forget that the daily isn't an endless meeting. BTW: This approach works for smaller teams, too.