Does your daily standup matter?

Try this sometime:

Survey your team members anonymously: “What’s the purpose of our daily standup?” (or daily Scrum, whatever you call it).

You might be surprised by the number of materially different answers you’ll get.

And then, you should be concerned over how many of those answers include words such as “updates” or “status.”

People love to hate meetings, and the daily is a prime target (which, in turn, makes them think worse of Agile). To change the tone, meetings need to *matter*, and to be better than the alternatives (such as email communication).

 

Your daily’s purpose should be to help the team increase the chance they’d meet the current goal/objective/target.

 

That’s good, but not good enough. To accomplish this purpose, it’s natural to assume that it’s a coordination meeting, hence the updates and status. That dovetails nicely with another assumption: that someone like a Scrum Master or manager would take that info and come up with a plan.

Instead, the Agile premise is “let’s notice what can get in our way and deal with it ASAP.” There’s an emphasis on “let’s”: it’s collaborative micro-planning, not top-down planning. That’s why a purposeful standup also produces a useful side-effect: team building.

 

If this purpose and premise resonate with you, the next step is to decide *how* to run the meeting effectively and efficiently. There are many options in addition to the traditional three questions. Here is a free resource you might use.

 

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