Daily stand-up is meeting that happens every day (usually the first thing in the morning) where all team members are required to attend.
Daily stand-ups try to achieve a couple of goals from the engineering perspective. They should
- Give a status update on what each engineer is doing.
- Identify any blockers.
- Ask for help if needed.
- Short term future plan.
Let me break down what each of these means. I will also add what really happens during stand-ups.
Give a status update.
Goal: Sync all engineers together. Engineers are to talk only at a high-level and not waste time on details. Each engineer will listen to what other teammates are working on and get a sense of the overall product development.
What actually happens: Every engineer is thinking what they are going to say when their turn comes. After their turn, thy are thinking about what they will work on after stand-up. Nobody is nobody is listening to what other engineers are doing. Probably, only the team lead and project managers are paying attention.
Identify any blockers.
Goal: Inform teammates of any blockers that are development or resource related. For example, one could say “I am blocked by John’s work” or “I am waiting to get a larger server to test my code”.
What actually happens: This comes up very rarely. Because people use email to communicate any blockers as soon as thy happen. No one waits a whole day just to tell others at stand-up. Even after identifying any blockers at stand-up, they still need to follow up with emails.
Ask for help
Goal: Engineers who are mentally/technically blocked (not by resources) ask for guidance.
What really happens: When an engineer is stuck, they ask for help via email during a work day. No engineer will publicly ask for help during stand-up. Most engineers ask discretely or just spend time pounding on the problem harder until they figure it out.
Short term future plan
Goal: identify what each engineer will do next.
What really happens: Engineers will usually work on whatever is in their backlog. This is already known by the only people who are listening (team lead and project managers).
Having said all of that, I think stand-ups are fun to have as it gets you closer to your teammates. However, if you really want to know my feelings towards daily stand-ups, read the red text.