Standing meetings and follow-up email – Lesson

Standing Meetings and follow-up Emails (Download full lesson)

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Opening discussion questions:

  • What is a stand-up meeting?

  • Why do we have stand-up meetings instead of traditional meetings?

  • What are the advantages of stand-up meetings?

  • What did you discuss in your last sand-up meeting?

  • Did your last stand-up meeting benefit your work day?


What is a stand-up meeting?

A stand-up meeting is a meeting where people stand for a short period of time. The discomfort of standing is intended to make the meetings more efficient by not wasting too much time.

The three most important questions in the stand-up are:

  • What did we achieve yesterday?

  • What is our aim for today?

  • What obstacles are in the way of our progress?


Why do we have stand-up meetings instead of traditional meetings?

The meeting is intended to help team members move along with their tasks at hand rather than an overall status report to superiors. The meetings aim to identify problems before they escalate and help team members learn from each other’s experience.  Team members talk about progress since the last stand-up, their plan for the coming day and obstacles they are facing.


What are the advantages of stand-up meetings?

  • The meetings are focused and stay on topic.

  • They eliminate distractions like phones and computers.

  • They prevent people from talking too much.

  • They are short so they don’t interfere with your work day.

  • They can quickly and easily achieve their goals.



Useful phrases for stand-up meetings: (explain and practice with students)

What did you accomplish yesterday?

What have you finished since yesterday?

Yesterday, I completed task A.

I finished tasks X and Y, but had a problem with Z. I think I need John’s help.

What happened with the impediment you mentioned yesterday?

How did you decide to handle the obstacle you mentioned yesterday?

I dealt with that problem by asking for Jenny’s help. She is very experienced with TDD (Test Driven Development).

I got over that obstacle by googling the problem and found the solution on …. Website.

Did you ever get help from John as suggested yesterday?

Yes, John was a great help in figuring out how to resolve the issue?

I hope he can assist me again today.

No, John was too busy yesterday so the problem is still unresolved.

What are you planning to do today?

Today I am planning to

What are you working on today?

Today I am working on…

Do I you any impediments / roadblocks?

What obstacles are impeding your progress?

There are several obstacles impeding my progress, such as…


Exercise: Put students into small groups and follow the stand-up meeting format to discuss what they did yesterday, what they plane to do today and if there are any obstacles in the way of their progress. Emphasize that this is a good exercise for practicing the past, present and future tenses in one short conversation.

Stand-up meeting follow-up email


Dear Staff,

I am writing this email to follow-up on today’s stand-up meeting.

In the meeting we discussed some key points which would help move the project along and comfortably meet the deadline.

Mike encountered a problem yesterday with task A, but with the assistance of Mary was able to resolve the issue and learn some valuable knowledge about Java programming in the process.

Lily was also falling behind because of issues with …., but gladly with the help of Ben was able to get back on track and is now in full control of her tasks.

In today’s stand-up we also concluded that we could finish task B by this weekend even if it means putting in a few late ones.

I would be very grateful if you could send us the data on task C by Thursday so we can discuss it in Friday’s stand-up?

Best Regards

Martin G


Exercise: Write a short email to an overseas colleague summarizing the stand-up you role-played previously, using as many as the phrases from this lesson as you can.

Standing Meetings and follow-up Emails (Download full lesson)

Leadership Tips Article