Standup meetings. If there’s anything that’s likely to draw the ire of a large proportion of developers, it’s standup meetings. One of the biggest complaints is that the meeting quickly devolves into a mixture of micro-management and status reporting. And to be completely fair, a large number of standup meetings that I’ve been a part of have reached this state pretty quickly.

In particular, one of the biggest problems I’ve found is having management be a part of this meeting at all.

The best standup meetings that I’ve ever been a part of were action oriented, problem solving meetings that were created and run by the team members themselves. It is important that you trust your team enough to give them autonomy to lead their own meetings and direct their own progress. When management is in the room, it can create a sense of being watched or judged, and that’s really not going to help.

There are a host of other channels, from Jira boards to ad-hoc on the floor conversations, that we as managers can get progress updates. Even a scheduled status update meeting would be preferable to co-opting the standup. Let the team have their space to collaborate and problem solve. It’ll make for a much more productive meeting.

Standup meetings can be a hugely valuable tool for teams. It’s critical to remember, though, that they’re not just a status update for management. And as soon as you show up to the meeting it will inevitably turn into a status report.

Just step back and let the team lead the meeting.