Becoming Agile: Daily Stand-Up

This post is part of a series: Becoming Agile.

The Daily Stand-Up or Daily Scrum is a short daily meeting for the team to synchronize work.

The Basics

With this meeting, we want to make sure everyone on the team knows what to do and nobody is blocked. Usually, we try to answer the following three questions:

  • What has been done?
  • What will be done?
  • Are there any blockers?

With these answers at hand, the team can easily plan the current day. Because this is a daily meeting, it is crucial to ensure it is always a short one. As a rule of thumb, the team should not spend more than 15 minutes talking. That's why it's called Stand-Up: it should not get all too comfortable. Just quickly talk about the important and most valuable information and leave out too many details. If questions come up or discussions are needed, the topics will be collected and the relevant people meet afterwards to sort things out. Everyone else can get productive right after the Daily Stand-Up is finished.

The Improved Variant

Actually, this should not be a reporting meeting. Most times, it's not very valuable to hear what your team mate did yesterday just for the sake of telling. We are not in a competition about who did more tasks the other day. And it would also be ok, if not everybody says something. The much more important information to be gathered is, is the team still on track reaching the sprint goal.

Instead of reporting irrelevant facts, which you don't have to wait telling until the Daily Stand-Up, the team should have a quick discussion about what has to be done to reach a successful sprint.

You don't have to wait telling until the Daily Stand-Up

Yes, please! Don't collect information and wait until the Daily Stand-Up to let your team know! If you have a valuable information, tell everybody right away.

With the perspective shifted away from answering boring controlling questions towards a more collaborative style, the Daily Stand-Up and the corresponding working day actually have a chance to become productive.

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