Building A Better Agile Standup Meeting Agenda

The idea is simple, even lovable. You have a series of dedicated, on-topic meetings every day. This system of meetings cuts down on unnecessary text communications, creates clarity, forges team bonds, and ultimately saves a ton of time. These meetings are so short you can even have them while standing!

Indeed, agile standups are the perfect meetings and everyone always sticks to exactly that plan with no deviation.

Only… that’s not always how it works out, right?

Standups become rote. Teams lose sight of the point. People bring up thoughts or topics outside the original scope. Video meetings make it especially hard to stay on your feet during calls.

Agile standups may suffer from more scope creep than any other aspect of agile project management.

While most Scrum standups follow the same three-question structure (What did you do yesterday? What are you doing today? What are your blockers?), these narrow headings can be limiting. Those limitations can make meetings go longer, as people shoehorn in imperfect fits of information. Our multi-step agenda creates space to avoid this.

We can change that. Here’s the daily agile standup agenda we recommend – and ways to make it work better at every stage.

Hint: Your team meetings will be the most efficient when you have complete visibility into every task. Visor is a free app that does just that, making tasks and deadlines obvious at a glance. Try Visor to get started.

Here’s What You Need To Include – And How To Make It Better

Temp check

Taking a temperature check of your team is a quick and easy way to get the meeting off to a positive start without taking a ton of time. This helps create a sense of team bonding while giving you a general sense of stress, bandwidth, and wellbeing. It also takes emotion out of the following questions, so you can focus on the technical.

Mix it up by incorporating different ways to quickly check in. We saw one Visor-using team incorporate “Which image are you today” memes into their daily standup.

A board of silly bird photographs with the words "Good morning, which crow is your mood today?"

A quick number each, laughs all around, and you can move on!

Looking back

This is our suggested replacement for the Scrum standup question, “What did you do yesterday?” You can swap in any way to ask that question or a similar one. The point is to look back and go over what each team member has accomplished since your last standup.

This will go even faster for teams who have a shared document to follow during these calls, as everyone can put their completed tasks in ahead of time. Even that can be made faster if the team all uses the same task visualizers and can see what everyone else has accomplished recently. (Our favorite is Visor, of course.)

Looking forward

Asking team members what their tasks for the day are is one place where standups get off-track. Team members may hesitate, or over-commit, or list out too many upcoming tasks, taking up time and prompting other team members to drift off-course.

Instead of asking team members only what they’re doing today, this is a way to split that idea up into the parts. This first part is a reminder of big goals. Kick this section off by re-stating the biggest or most pressing goal for the team. Then have everyone on the team state their one biggest upcoming goal.

Perhaps that goal is something they’re getting done today, or perhaps it’s loftier. Team adherence to the plan can improve by incorporating this methodology of reminding and refocusing.

Today’s plan

Now that you’ve covered the macro view, here’s where you can zoom in and get micro. Freed from the burden of connecting their to-do list to the grander plan, this is where team members can say their number one item to get done today.

It’s easier to keep this brief and cut off teammates who are running a little long now that they’ve had an opportunity to assure you they’re chasing bigger plans than something that may feel “too small” to list.


The last functional question and answer, here is your chance to check in about specific blockers. What is standing in the way of your teams’ goals today? Since you’ve already gone over the grand plans, you’re more able to question specific, immediate blockers. You’ll be able to address them quickly and move on.

If unblocking starts turning into a bigger conversation, cut it off and note that the necessary parties can continue the discussion separately. This brings us to our final agile standup agenda item…


Where many meetings leave room for questions at the end, Scrum standups aren’t really supposed to. Yet it’s such a natural close to many meetings that leaders often open the floor by reflex alone.

To avoid that, intentionally end your standup by indicating next steps. That will usually be as simple as asking team members to message you with questions and inviting those who need more in-depth conversations to another chat, separately.

Avoid The Pitfalls

There are always natural fail points in every system, no matter how well-designed. Keep an eye out for these pitfalls and stay ahead of them 

Don’t think of it as one size fits all

Every team is different. Every project is unique. Culture differs from place to place.

While this agenda is what Visor thinks of as an ideal starting point, it may not be the best fit for you. You know your organization best, so don’t be scared to customize these meetings.

The best way to avoid a bad standup is to iterate according to your team’s needs. Be flexible, invite feedback, and make adjustments over time.

Watch for time creep

Even with an arsenal of creep-busting maneuvers, there’s no way to fully prevent time creep.

Remember to be kind, but firm. If someone is talking too long, don’t be afraid to cut them off or give them a 30-second warning.

You must lead by example in these cases. If you go off-book or turn long-winded, it’s a promise that your team will, too. Set a culture of succinct, on-track meetings.

Change it up!

If you use the same system every time, people will start to tune it out. It can be tricky, but try to mix up the agenda to avoid this.

You might add in a new element each time, start off with an unexpected temperature check, or simply change the order of agenda items regularly. You might even hand off the baton to let a new person lead the meeting every so often. Finding ways to invite some variation into your agile standup meeting agenda will keep your team on their toes.

Your Best-Ever Agile Standup Meeting Agenda Is In Reach

Agile standup meetings have so much power to help your team work better, more efficiently, and while making stronger connections with one another.

You’re one step closer to standups that are effective, efficient, and avoid the bloat. If you’d like to take it even further, try Visor for free, today, to find out how you can have crystal clear alignment before the meeting even starts.

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