Although we have our stand up meeting at the same time every morning, people still don't arrive for the meeting on their own. I need to call them for the meeting every morning. Would it help to say that they must be there 2 min before the allotted time? They are not in other meetings beforehand.

I am the scrum master and dev manager. We have a team of 12 developers and these meetings usually take up to 25 minutes.

I timed this morning meeting and it took 16 minutes and 10 people reported, so that's good going.

Edit on 05/02/18

Started doing smaller stand-up meeting with fewer people. They now only report on blockers, items that stop them from completing their work.

  • 7
    Supply Doughnuts.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 7:15
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    If it's taking 25 minutes then you are doing something wrong. That's likely the reason people don't want to attend. They should be 10 minutes maximum.
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:03
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    They should be 10 minutes maximum - @DarrenYoung keep in mind that it's 12 people, which means 20 - 25 minutes is not that unreasonable. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 9:05
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    @RaduMurzea What is unreasonable is the size of the Scrum team which leads to long meetings such as this.
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 9:49
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    A better time for a regular short meeting is not first thing in the morning but right before/after lunch. Many people are the peak of their productivity in the morning and having a meeting interrupts that golden time.
    – teego1967
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 11:44

5 Answers 5


You might be having a XY problem here. Find out why people do not show up for the meeting, and fix that.

For example, if the meetings go on for too long and that distracts them from their work, understand why meetings are so long and how you can fix that. If nothing useful gets discussed in the meeting, and it is more of "I did this, I will do that", maybe the meeting can be skipped entirely. And so on.

  • It is a daily scrum meeting addressing the questions. What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any impediments in your way? At the moment it is a group of 12 and no longer that 25min.
    – fran
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 5:43
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    @fran 12 is too many people and 25 is too many minutes for a scrum meeting.
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 6:30
  • I'll time it but it's usually less than 25. The dev team consist of 12, not keen to split the group as it is useful for people to hear what other people are working on. And leads to some good advice just from their own exp dealing with the same problem
    – fran
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 6:48
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    A dev team of 12 is too big. People are probably not showing up because they disagree that it's useful to hear what other people are working on.
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 6:54
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    You don't have to explain to me. :) I just gave you a couple of common complaints that my team has had with the so-called scrum meeting. Your team may be having other issues as well, which you can find out by talking to them. But anyway, from your comment, it looks like the duration of the meeting may indeed be a part of the issue here.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 7:17

People won't be eager to go because they don't deem it useful.

Could you change the meeting just to go over

  • What i'm doing today
  • Any issues from yesterday

Cut out what they did yesterday unless there was an issue. A 20-25 minute scrum doesn't seem that useful, so you may need to make the scrum shorter by removing some content.

Try to also ensure that discussions about issues are taken outside of the meeting. As a developer, I really can't be bothered to hear about a problem I have no interest in for 10 minutes when I have my own stuff to be doing. Briefly outline the problem, then let the devs in question discuss it after the meeting.

I understand about splitting the team, but could you trial it? Split it based on areas of the software or something? Maybe have a Monday Morning scrum with all 12, and then split scrums for the rest of the week?

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    Not sure, but "being paid and having a job" is useful. Let the whole millenial thing aside - whose bread I take, whose sond I sing. Company expects me to be there, I am not -> violation of work contract and bad ethics.
    – TomTom
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:08

A scrum team should be between 5 and 9 people. 12 is excessive. We are 7 people and it's easy: when one rises, all others will look up and think "oh, it's standup".

Make sure it's easy to be there on time:

  • Don't have a meeting at a time when people just arrived. It's easy to miss a bus or get stuck in traffic. Set the meeting for 30 minutes after people arrive so they have a buffer and can check their mails.

  • Set reminders. Have something pop up on peoples screens 5 minutes before, so they have the time to close their current task and come over.

  • Have meeting in an easily accessible room. With a Scrum team, that should be the team's room. Everyone gets up from his desk and voila: stand up.

And finally, if all agree it's a problem, talk about it in the retrospective. We have "punctuality awareness" sprints, where the team member that is late most often has to clean the kitchen for the next sprint. Nobody is late. Not even once. But this has to be a team decision, forcing something like that goes against the Scrum spirit.

  • The development team should be between 5 and 9, right? The whole scrum team also includes the PO & SM and would ideally be between 7 and 11.
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:49
  • @Erik - The PO shouldn't be at a SCRUM meeting. IF they are, they should be a spectator only (as in their yap is sewn shut). Same goes for managers. If the PO is down in the weeds in the SCRUM meetings, they're in the wrong job. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 15:48
  • +1 for retrospective. Raise an issue in the retrospective (stand-ups are not well-attended) and get the developers to sort out how they want to run the stand-ups. This works better if the developers have had some proper training in how SCRUM works, as opposed to having it applied to the team second or third-hand. One of the nice things about SCRUM, from a developer's perspective, is how details like this are mutable and under the team's control. The scrum master is there to help stick to best practices, but most details are negotiable. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 16:47

Set a time. Tell them they have to be there. Don't get them, if they don't come. Tell them afterwards that you did not see them at the meeting and that they really have to attend from now on. If they still not attend regularly, take note of it and sit down with them.

If they don't feel it is something they have to do, why would they spend 25 minutes on a meeting that might not give them much input? Also, strive to optimise the meeting together. Ask them what is bad about it and what is good. But do not get them every morning. They are adults. They have learned that they will be called.

In short, the main point (besides all the points mentioned in the other answers like optimising the meeting and reducing the time) is, that they have learned that they will be called in to the meeting. So they are waiting for that. Tell them you will not be fetching anyone anymore, repeat the time and place once more and stop calling them separately. It is their responsibility to show up.

It will make for messy meetings for a while, but eventually things should get better.


Since this is a fundamental part of Scrum, you may want to find out if everyone is really buying into this process. There should be problems and consequences when they don't let everyone know what they're doing and going to be doing and visa versa.

The problem isn't their lack of attendance, but the results of not attending. Are other people having to take additional time to inform them of issues? Are people in the meeting feeling like they cannot do their job because of the lack of input from those that miss the meeting?

Assuming you have a group of people wanting to do well at their job, find out how they are able to miss this critical meeting and still function effectively.

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