I am trying to look for best practise regarding daily scrum and daily standup with members in different time zones. Most if not all of the recommendations seems to be biased towards members in the Western continents like Europe and America. Most recommendation is to fix a time that is suitable for everyone and most of the time with members in APAC, EUROPE and AMER, this only means 8, 9 or 10 am in Americas timing. This means members in APAC have to sacrifice their time daily in the night to attend those meettings. Why should members in APAC be penalized in such setup to give up their night time? Have anyone face the same team setup before and how was it resvoled practically, without have members in APAC sacrificing their night time with social friends, family and kids all the time. I know it 15 minutes only, but we don't just switch on the brain duing the 15 minutes, its also the prep work before and the wind down after.

My thoughts are to split daily standup or scrum into two, one for APAC/EMEA and another EMEA/AMER and maybe once a month we have a full team daily standup. Would that work practically? Has anyone tried this out and does it work?

Regards Kelvin

  • 3
    You're trying to use Scrum and you're struggling with the Daily Scrum because of the time zones and differences in working hours. However, have you thought about the impact of this on the longer (and, in my opinion, more crucial events) like the Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective? Are you willing to consider that Scrum, which was first designed and used for co-located team members, may not be the best fit and you may need to violate fundamental rules of Scrum to have a suitable process?
    – Thomas Owens
    Commented Jan 22 at 13:05
  • It may be that Scrum isn't the right organisation for your team (how can you collaborate closely if your colleagues are unavailable for half your working day or more?). It might be that you need to split into three groups and have a "handover" meeting at the beginning and end of each day (Asia⟶Europe, Europe⟶Americas, Americas⟶Asia). Commented Jan 23 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


Speaking from experience with vastly distributed teams, here are my thoughts...

Don't Split the Daily Scrum

First, don't split the daily scrum. You don't split a scrum team. That just doesn't work.

I'm Surprised by Some Implications

I definitely agree the burden shouldn't be on APJ, or any other region, for that matter.

I'm surprised that you're describing a team setup with members in AMER, in EMEA, and in APJ/APAC... and the selected timeframe is the morning in the US! A 2PM CET timeframe would seem more viable by most, except for US Pacific Time and Japan/Australia. Please note that I said viable, not ideal.

The problem with 2PM CET is that it's in what I call the "meeting dead-zone" for EMEA: that band in the middle of the day where everybody already wants to have a meeting, so you need to find the right spot that works for all.

Also, a mid-day or end-of-day daily scrum doesn't sound right anways.

Strive for Inclusivity and Rotate

Keeping a single team that's distributed across the entire world inclusive is difficult.

Remind people that Earth is a sphere, not a flat map... The "edges" don't really exist!

So, something I've seen to work in the past was to rotate the "burden": one Sprint is aligned on AMER, next Sprint aligns on EMEA, next Sprint aligns on APJ/APAC, ...

I don't like this so much because it breaks the predictability of the process, but it can work and at least shows a commitment from ALL regions to suffer equally through some odd hours.

Split the Projects and the Teams

Note that while I said you can't split a project team, you can, however, split your project into smaller projects and smaller teams, and have them work separately, or jointly with a scaled agile methodology of your choice: Scrum Nexus, Scrum @ Scale, Less, SAFe, DAD...

It may add some overhead, but considering your context, this may actually optimize the way you're currently working. It does require some trust and accountability.

Reconsider Scrum and Agile

Agile in general was meant for co-located teams. Of course, that was in a time when we didn't have that capacity for virtual or hybrid workspaces, and distributed teams. Still, I'd say it generally works best for co-located teams. But it can work very well for distributed teams as well if you work with the right mindset and culture. If the culture can't adapt to distributed teams, your daily scrum isn't your biggest issue.

Note that you didn't specify if all teams had "equal" footing within the org chart, what the team size was, and if some teams were external. So I'm keeping this relatively high-level for now.

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    As someone who performed daily stand-ups mid-day -- due to team members working in overlapping but distinct shifts -- I can confirm it's definitely doable, and honestly not that different from a morning or evening stand-up. It is an interruption, but it's a planned one, so you can organize your daily schedule around it. In my case local time was either 11AM or 12AM, depending on summer vs winter time..., it may work even better if you can align the stand-up close to 12AM (or 13AM), eg. right before or right after lunch break. Commented Jan 22 at 16:30
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    I think you mean 12 pm (aka noon), not 12 am (midnight). And there's certainly no 13am. Commented Jan 23 at 15:15

This is not a big deal. For any meeting everybody needs to attend, you should know the common working hours of everybody.

Here's what you should do;

  1. Request everybody to send their general working hours and optional extensions
  2. Find the common timeframe within the general working hours, if you can not, kindly find some time within the optional extensions. If no common timeframe is found, decide on the one that suits the most people and require other people to attend that until the team members change

There's no value in leaving Scrum or limiting your team structure to a specific list of time zones; you can go on living the beauty of remote and async work.

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