We are all familiar with the Stand-Up meeting, where everyone meets on a pre-determined cadence (every day, 3 times a week, etc...) to answer the 3 important questions.
- What did I do yesterday that helped the development team meet the sprint goal?
- What will I do today to help the development team meet the sprint goal?
- Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the development team from meeting the sprint goal?
We call it the Stand-Up meeting because attendees are supposed to be standing while answering the 3 important questions. The discomfort of standing is intended to keep the meetings short. The reason we try to answer these 3 important questions is so that the project can be completed successfully in a timely matter.
However, having worked in the software industry for many years and have been on countless teams I am feeling that we are severely abusing the original intent of Stand-Ups and just doing it "just because we have always been doing it".
I have noted the following issues with the traditional in person Stand-Ups.
Absent attendees miss out on all the information presented. This happens more often than you think. e.g. "I need to get my car fixed in the morning, will be missing stand up today", "Cat peed all over the carpet so I need to clean it up, will be missing stand up today", "Got a dentist appointment and will miss stand up today", etc...
People are frequently late to Stand-Ups which inevitably prolongs the Stand-Up meeting time.
People almost always go off into tangent discussions that aren't important to the rest of the team. I am beginning to think this is just human nature.
I've heard of other Stand-Ups lasting up to 45 minutes to an hour. That team felt quite proud of it too.
Forced time limit almost never works. Some people just love to describe every minute detail of their work even when the 3 minute timer is beeping.
Humans have terrible memory.
I want to propose we replace the face to face 15 minute Stand-Up meeting with group chat software (Microsoft Teams, Slack etc...). This ensures the 3 important questions are documented and searchable. No more missing information, no more he said/she said misunderstandings and threads can be replied to and referenced back.
But I've heard feedback from teammates that they want to see each other face to face and they "supposedly" get value from making the Stand-Up meetings super long. Translation: We like to waste time talking about the weekend or what we did last night. Well, may I introduce to you the "let's go get coffee together meeting" for those social needs.