6 topics that don't belong in your daily standup

Published on
July 9, 2022

Daily standup is the cornerstone of rapid innovation and productivity for countless teams and companies. But this seemingly simple meeting can be easily derailed when the wrong topics enter the meeting. To avoid this common challenge, which topics should you avoid in daily standup?

🚫 DON'T: Topics you should avoid in daily standup

1. Planning new projects

When stakeholders introduce new (or urgent) initiatives in the middle of a sprint, the team may feel the urge to react. While these opportunities for growth are "exciting", it’s crucial to leave the conversation about how to seize them out of your daily standup. Standup is not the time for planning. If you can't yourself planning, add it to Team Topics and move on.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach Team Topics to capture urgent requests that need attention later

2. Company status updates

Similar to planning large projects, bringing up other company news and status updates isn’t a good fit for daily standup. Although company status updates are information your teams should always be kept aware of, daily standup should first and foremost address progress and blockers for the current sprint—save every thing else until the end or for another time.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach Team Topics to capture company updates and discuss asynchronously after

3. Solutioning in standup

Pressing problems can be incredibly difficult to resist bringing up when the whole team is gathered together. However, no matter the intensity of the issue, it needs to either wait until after the daily standup or another time.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach Team Topics to capture urgent items and tag teammates who can help you solve the problem later

4. Technical details

Reveling in the details about how a technical challenge was overcome can sure feel fun, especially when any win provides signs of progress. While we don’t want to kill anyone’s vibe post-triumph, always remember that daily standup is not the time to unpack the details of a problem you solved.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach emoji feature to celebrate triumphs

5. Performance feedback

Praising team members for their achievements is absolutely important, no doubt. And, although it’s wise to give teammates both positive and negative feedback, your daily standup isn’t the time for it. The short 15-minute format doesn’t allow enough time for feedback that’s truly constructive, it puts the person in an uncomfortable spotlight, and it waste's time of others on the team who don't need to participate in the feedback session.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach emoji feature to show positive reaction to completed tasks

6. Rambling and monopolizing

Spending time discussing the minutiae of your day or your ideas tempts team members who aren’t involved to tune out. This reduces the overall value of the daily standup. Never forget that the purpose of standup is to align work to goals and remove any bottlenecks. It's important to prevent over-sharers from commandeering the conversation.

🥬 Tip: Use Spinach to prepare what you'll share and stay on topic. The Spinach timer shows how long you've been talking

✅ DO: Topics to cover in daily scrum

Now that you’re clear on the type of topics that should be left out of standup, what are the essential topics you should cover? It helps to remember the Yesterday, Today, Blocker framework. Here is a refresher on what each topic entails.

What you accomplished yesterday

Team members start with covering the tasks they completed the day before. This brings everyone up to speed on what progress has been made toward the sprint goal. It also helps to provide a sense of purpose and accountability. 

What you will accomplish today

Next, each person tells the team what they plan to accomplish that day to fulfill their role in meeting the sprint goal. This step sheds light on how each piece of the project puzzle will fit together for a successful sprint.

Any potential blockers that lie ahead

Finally, team members share the blockers they believe could pose challenges to their progress that day. When blockers are brought to the attention of the team, it can help inspire solutions to ensure everyone meets the sprint goal on schedule.

Keeping your standup on-topic has never been easier

Spinach makes it easy to keep your standup on track. Remind the team to prepare their updates, provide consistent structure, rotate through each person with equal time, save discussions until the end, and get a summary delivered to Slack.   Learn how Spinach.io can help you cover only what’s necessary for an effective daily standup. Try Spinach.io for free today!