Daily Scrum vs standup meetings: What's the difference?

Daily Scrum standup meetings

There is no such thing as a daily Scrum standup. We don’t do standups in Scrum.

Scrum does have the daily Scrum, but nobody is expected to stand in it.

In fact, the term standup is considered to be exclusionary, as it assumes everyone in attendance can stand. It’s is ableist, and organizations should stop using it.

However, there are other noteworthy difference between a standup and a daily Scrum that go beyond the insensitivity of the term.

Daily Scrum and standup meeting differences

There are many ways in which a daily Scrum and standup meeting are different. Here are 10 key differences between them:

1. The purpose of a daily Scrum

The goal of a daily standup is to report an individual’s status to team-leaders or managers while the goal of the daily Scrum is to allow developers to quickly resolve blockers and produce what the official Scrum guide calls an actionable plan for the next day of work.

2. The participants in a standup

A daily standup often includes developers, testers, managers, team leads and even stakeholders, while the daily Scrum is only for the developers.

Developers can invite anyone to attend the daily Scrum, but only the developers are allowed to be active participants.

3. The time allocated to the daily Scrum

The Scrum guide places a strict 15-minute timebox on the daily Scrum, while a standup is allowed to continue until someone is the group is too tired to stand.

4. The meeting leader in a standup

Typically, a manager, team leader or an individual in a position of authority leads the daily standup.

In Scrum, there are no sub-teams or hierarchies. There is no leader in a daily Scrum. Instead, the Scrum guide instructs that a cohesive unit of professionals drives the meeting to working to come up with an actionable plan for the day.

5. The daily Scrum and standup processes

A standup meeting often requires all participants to answer a standard set of questions.

Scrum has no formalized set of questions that must be asked and answered. Originally the Scrum guide listed three questions to ask in the daily Scrum:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What did you do today?
  • What, if anything, is blocking your progress?

Those questions were removed from the most recent official Scrum guide, as strict adherence to them could become repetitive and unproductive.

As a result, there is no fixed format for the daily Scrum.

6. The frequency of standup meetings

The daily Scrum occurs every workday so the team can eliminate blockers and kickstart their development work. In contrast, a standup meeting is scheduled daily, weekly or even intermittently depending upon the organization’s needs.

7. The location of the daily Scrum

The Scrum Guide insists that the daily Scrum take place at the same time and location every day, while a standup is not confined to such restrictions.

8. The standup terminology

The term daily standup is ableist, as it assumes everyone can stand. The daily Scrum is a less offensive term.

9. The associated framework

The term daily Scrum is intimately tied to the Scrum Framework, and has no real application outside of the use of Scrum.

In contrast, the standup meeting was popularized in the world of software development by the Extreme Programming method, although standup meetings are commonly held in industries and methodologies outside of the software development world.

10. The overall goal

The goal of the daily Scrum is to eliminate the need for other meetings that distract from the developers’ primary objective: produce an increment of value throughout the sprint.

In contrast to the daily Scrum, a standup’s goal is for managers and leaders to gauge how well a project is progressing.

Daily Scrum and standup meeting benefits

Communication and collaboration are important in every software development project. In Scrum, the daily Scrum is a reoccurring meeting that helps developers kick-start their day, while a standup meeting is an opportunity for managers and stakeholders to get a status report from all of the members of the team.


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