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Heh, on one of the projects I once worked on, we had a problem with the stand-ups getting too longwinded, and so we instituted a 1-minute time limit for each persons' update. And then we were like "Hey, this is working pretty well, let's see if we can shrink the time limit!" We ended up getting it down to 10 seconds/person, with the entire standup over in one minute.

The essential purpose of a standup is to make sure everyone knows what everyone else is working on, to identify any potential blockers early, and to get the right people collaborating offline to work out details. It really doesn't take very long to say this: "ComponentX, componentY; Blocked on componentZ; need to talk to Bob and Sue afterwards" is fine.

There's no reason you need to get everybody in the same physical place at the same time for this. If you are just giving status updates, team chat is a perfectly viable option.

I know I personally can't get started on things right away in the morning because of the psychic weight standups carry. I can't get focused because in the back of my mind I know I'm going to get interrupted soon for a meeting that mostly has little relevance to me.

I had another project (two, actually) where we had a "remote standup", where a couple of the team members were on the opposite coast and dialed in via videochat. You do lose something. It works, but it never felt like those teams "gelled" as well as the ones where everyone was in the same office, and the remote workers were often off doing something tangential rather than something core to the project. One of the points of the standup is to build trust and unity within the team; it's harder to do that when you're not face-to-face.

Also, there's nothing that says that standups have to be in the morning. Most of the teams I've worked on actually had theirs either right after lunch or mid-afternoon. That accommodated those of us who were late-risers, it let the early-risers get some work in in the morning, and it meant that it'd often fall during food coma or when energy levels hit a mid-afternoon nadir.

That's fair, but for groups who are in fact all in the same office, there's plenty of face to face time every day. In every environment I've worked, I've never met a developer who's been gung-ho for standups. They are always attended begrudgingly. And if you need standups to build team camaraderie and trust, there's probably other larger issues that a standup isn't going to solve.

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