Jacob Kaplan-Moss

How do you run distributed standups?

I wrote this post in 2015, more than 8 years ago. It may be very out of date, partially or totally incorrect. I may even no longer agree with this, or might approach things differently if I wrote this post today. I rarely edit posts after writing them, but if I have there'll be a note at the bottom about what I changed and why. If something in this post is actively harmful or dangerous please get in touch and I'll fix it.

I run a distributed team, across nine hours of time zone offset, so staying in sync takes some work. We’ve been fooling around with different methods and cadances for our sync-ups, so as a way of gathering ideas, I did a quick “twitter poll” yesterday:


The results were super interesting!

Do distributed teams do daily standups?

Yes, overwhelmingly: 42 people said their teams do daily standups. 8 did standups, but less frequently (ranging from every other day, to weekly). 6 said they did not.


The majority use video: 33 teams use video calls. Some people mentioned specific technologies:

This was somewhat surprising to me: my team unanimously hates video for standups – it can take as long to get the A/V working as the standup takes itself! So it was a surprise to me to hear that so many teams find it works for them.

I wasn’t surprised to see Hangouts as the most popular video chat tool. Consensus from the people who use Hangout was that it sucks, but that it’s better than anything else they’ve tried – and this matches my team’s experience.

Text-based chat was the second-most popular: 14 teams use text chat. There was less of a clear leader in tool choice here; the tools mentioned were:

Some folks shared some additional links:

Finally, a few people used something that doesn’t neetly fall into the above buckets:

What do teams do instead?

Some of the folks who said they don’t do standups mentioned alternatitives they use instead: