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Daily Scrum meeting – Does one need to have it standing (why not sitting) ?

In the previous post on this topic (Getting everyone to stand in the Daily Scrum meeting), I had outlined a philosophy that a large number of teams follow for the Daily Scrum meeting. The philosophy was simple – when you have a Daily Scrum meeting, it would be a stand-up meeting where everybody who attends the meeting is standing rather than sitting. The meeting is supposed to be quick, and hence everybody should stand, since that ensures people are focused on this meeting and the meeting gets done quickly.
However, there is a contra view about not having the Daily Scrum meeting as a meeting where everybody stands, or rather, a meeting where people can sit down and yet get the meeting done as per the requirements (I believe that a team should follow whatever works best for it, and am just looking to present both sides of this discussion). Here are some of the reasons for the same:
– I have seen objections from many team members in the past about the basic need for making the meeting a standing only meeting. On one side, there is the expectation that the the team is much more empowered and hence has a lot of responsibility, and yet they are also being told that you cannot sit down, since then you might get distracted.
– There can be people who do need to sit rather than stand – for example, you could have team members who are pregnant, or team members who are handicapped or suffering from some medical condition where they can do work, but it is much better for them if they sit rather than stand. In such cases, it would be extremely odd if some of the team members are sitting and others are standing (everybody might as well sit in that case).
– The guidelines for how a Daily Scrum meeting do not stipulate that it is a standing meeting. But a number of people now associate the meeting with the phrase – stand-up meeting; technically that is not true. It is for the team to decide whether to want to do the meeting standing up or sitting down. It could even be a heated discussion on the merits of each situation, but it should not just be done because other teams are doing the same concept of standing up.
– In earlier times, it used to be a bunch of team members standing in the same room, doing the Daily Scrum discussion. Now, many organizations are geographically dispersed, with team members in different locations across the country or across different countries, and they all do take part in the Daily Scrum meeting through various tools such as video-conferencing. When doing video conferencing across multiple locations, I have never seen a team being comfortable standing; it is far more comfortable sitting down. Further, it looked very comical when people across multiple locations (on the TV as well) were standing up.
– A number of teams also have the concept of taking notes of the Daily Scrum meeting; and using a computer to take notes while standing up really is not comfortable at all. And then you have the same concept of one person sitting while the others are sitting, and that also looks inappropriate.

The debate is on, but in the end, the team has to decide whether they want to sit or stand during the Daily Scrum meeting.

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