What is the Daily Standup meeting?
The daily standup meeting is also known as the daily scrum (huddle). This is the one of the three stages in Agile Planning. Release Planning, Sprint Planning and Daily Planning. This is the daily part. Everyday the team members gather around in a circle, generally around the Story/Task board and everyone, one at a time, answers three basic questions:
- What tasks I worked on yesterday
- What tasks I plan to work on today and,
- What risks/obstacles stand in the way of my plan
It shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes.
- Keep the stand-up focussed on the tasks, no "I did yada yada yesterday" but there is no task for it
- Stand, don't sit. This will keep the meeting to 15 minutes
- Pass a talking stick around so there is less cross-talk
- Stand around the story/task board so you can focus and keep the board up to date as well
- Highlight issues but solve them later, this meeting is not for extended conversations
- Scrum Masters, try not to make eye contact with the talker, this way they will talk to the team
- Core team talks, keep the chickens (non core team stakeholders) from interrupting, yet ask them at the end if there are any questions or announcements
I like the questions put this way:
- What tasks did I commit to accomplish yesterday and where I stand on that
- What tasks will I commit to today
- What risks/obstacles do I see to this commitment that I am making to this team
So why do I like the second variation?
- It focusses the team on commitment. There is no benefit in knowing that someone is working on something. Well there is some benefit, but its better if you know when are they committing to completing something? Also important is to know if someone is behind and needs help or someone has extra capacity to help out today.
What is the value of the Daily Scrum (Stand-Up)
The daily scrum is about snychronization, commitment, and
accountability. Each individual invites self and group inspection on
the work he or she has accomplished the previous day. This daily
ritual is an important input for team adaptation throughout the
sprint. This brief interlude for reflection and seeding the current
day's work is an essential component of Scrum. If you are considering
modifying this practice, first ask yourself and your team, "Why?".
You may be suprised by the answer. Changing the frequency or format
of the daily scrum may have little or nothing to do with the issue the
team is trying to resolve.
Jim York | CST and President, FoxHedge, Ltd
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