How to Run a Daily Scrum Meeting (Best Practices for 2023)

Read this step-by-step guide to learn how to run an effective daily scrum meeting that won’t waste people’s time.
Matthew Ritchie
June 22, 2023
7 minute read

One of the most integral moments in the modern workplace has one of the most unlikely origins: a rugby game.

In the 1980s, researchers Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka studied what made high-performing teams at companies like 3M, Honda, Xerox, and Hewlett-Packard successful. 

They discovered that world-class teams worked closely together, with each team member playing a specific role while constantly iterating and collaborating to accomplish a shared goal—sort of like rugby players trying to get possession of a ball during a scrum.

In 1986, they presented their findings in a landmark Harvard Business Review article titled “The New New Product Development Game.”

But it wasn’t until the early 1990s that the idea of the “scrum” would reach a wider audience thanks in large part to Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland—two software developers who, inspired by Takeuchi and Nonaka’s research, developed the scrum methodology as it’s recognized today. (An updated scrum guide was published in 2020.)

Since then, the scrum framework has been widely adopted by teams in various roles and industries, including software development, marketing, operations, and even parts of the public sector. 

But its biggest gift to the world is arguably the daily scrum.

What is a daily scrum?

A daily scrum meeting (also known as a daily standup) is a 15-minute-long meeting, typically held at the start of each workday, in which team members share progress updates and discuss what they plan to work on each day.

The daily scrum is actually only one type of scrum meeting. There’s also sprint planning (in which a product owner and development team traditionally agree on what work will be accomplished during a specific time frame), sprint review (held after the tasks in the sprint are accomplished and ready for review), sprint retrospective (in which the team reflects on the past sprint, discuss what went well, what didn't, and what to improve on in the future), and backlog refinement (sometimes held mid-sprint to review items on the product backlog and ensure they’re being prioritized and described correctly).

If you’re not in software development or project management, there’s a chance most of the words above don’t mean anything to you.

But you’ve probably heard of a daily scrum before or unwittingly taken part in one (despite working in marketing and coming from a media background, every team I’ve worked on for the past decade has held a variation of a daily scrum meeting every morning at work).

That’s because, although the scrum methodology is rooted in software development, the framework is versatile enough that it’s easily transferrable to practically any team or organization.

What are the benefits of daily scrum meetings?

In addition to holding team members accountable, daily scrum meetings improve team communication, decision-making, collaboration, transparency, problem-solving, planning, and focus by keeping everyone informed and involved.

Here are some tips on how to run a daily scrum meeting at your workplace. 

How to run a daily scrum meeting: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Choose a Consistent Daily Meeting Time

How frequent are daily scrums? As the name suggests, a daily scrum should happen every day—usually at the same time and place to avoid confusion.

The best time to run a daily scrum is generally in the morning (at Bloks, we do ours at 9:15 a.m. every day), but if you’re working with people in other time zones, the late morning or early afternoon should suffice.

The goal here is to level set for the day, so don’t leave your morning scrum too late.

Step 2: Come Prepared with Updates

Each team member should come to the daily scrum prepared to discuss their plans for the day and any progress they’ve made since the last meeting.

If you’re forgetful, write your daily scrum update down the day before as part of your shutdown ritual at the end of each work day.

Step 3: Begin On Time and Use a Timer

Start the daily scrum meeting at the scheduled time, even if everyone isn’t there—team members can provide updates as they arrive and get updated on what everyone else said after the meeting (more on that later).

Again, daily scrums should be at most 15 minutes. If you frequently go over time, consider setting a timer, so team members stay focused and only talk about what’s important.

Step 4: Provide Your Three Key Updates

Your daily scrum meeting checklist should only include three questions:

  • What did I do yesterday?
  • What am I doing today?
  • What’s in my way?

Each team member should answer the three questions before the daily scrum meeting moves on to the next person.

Step 5: Note Any Roadblocks

As each team member answers the three questions, it’s important for someone to note any impediments that are in each person’s way. (Discussing these issues after the scrum is best to ensure the daily scrum stays on track.)

Have someone on your team write them down in a meeting summary (or use meeting transcription software to transcribe and summarize your scrums for you).

Step 6: Conclude and Follow-Up on Issues

Once everyone has had a chance to speak, you can end the daily scrum. If any issues arise, the team lead should discuss them after the morning scrum meeting or schedule a different time to talk (p.s. we have just the tool for you).

In addition to the daily scrum steps outlined above, here are a few more tips to help you run an effective daily scrum meeting.

Daily scrum meeting best practices

1. Maintain Strict Start and End Times

It may be difficult initially, but consistently starting and ending on time will help team members be more punctual and keep the daily scrum meeting running more efficiently.

2. Stand to Keep Meetings Short

If your daily scrums are in-person and teammates are physically capable of standing up during meetings, doing so can help keep the scrum brief.

3. Vary the Order of Speakers

Have a different team member start each daily scrum and pass it on to a different person each day. If you stick to the same speaking order, team members could become complacent and start zoning out until it’s their time to speak.

4. Use a Talking Token

This tip comes directly from Use a token (a ball, toy, baton—anything, really) that team members pass around to indicate who’s allowed to speak next. A talking token can help reduce interruptions and keep team members focused on who’s speaking.

5. Keep the Camera On During Calls

If you host your daily scrum on a video conferencing platform or some team members work remotely, encourage participants to keep their video on—that way, everyone can see each other, and team members feel more present, even if they’re thousands of miles away.

6. Use Chat for Side Comments

If your daily scrum is on a video call, encourage participants to use the chat function to chime in occasionally. This lets people speak up and share their thoughts without physically interrupting someone mid-speech.

7. Summarize Key Meeting Points

After the meeting, it can be helpful to send a brief summary of what was discussed, any decisions made, and any action items that came up.

Use a tool like Bloks to automatically transcribe and summarize meetings and identify action items, so you can focus on the conversation while still noting what gets said.

Get early access to Bloks—the AI-powered productivity assistant (available on iOS, MacOS, Android, and Windows).

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.