re: Time to change how we do Stand-Ups VIEW POST

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i have to disagree completely. based on my personal experience, these anti-patterns are not based on the format but rather on the people involved....

1) easily solvable. just communicate when the person is back. it's not forbidden to talk during the day to each other. if that happens, search for the why.

2) if that is the case: talk to your scrum master. punctuality is a sign of respect of the other peoples time which directly affects team-dynamics.

3) "that's a lot of detail - can we discuss this afterwards?" solved. or if it affects everybody on the team, the daily is the right time and place.

4) again: someone cough the scrum master cough could act as a moderator.

5) see 4

6) ¯_(ツ)_/¯ if the information is needed for a long time, why isn't it documented somewhere?

Group chat won't fix any of these. for example if someone like to go into deeply technical rambling won't stop that because he has to type them out. it'll probably encourage them...

 

We solved the same issues exactly the way Martin is mentioning.

Meetings do need a good moderation, which leads to a dictator like moderator.

I could imagine really long posts written in an hour by some of the people and others just having not even a sentence, which would make moderation of a written stand-up even harder.

Just my 2 cents.

 

I know scrum masters, particularly those new to it, can be wary of confrontation, but that's when team rules can really help. Then it's not about that person Vs the SM.

People keep going off topic? Anyone can cough and ask for the conversation too be taken offline. The SM needs to support them however. Or set a timer. Everyone gets 1m or less.

Everyone is late, hold it 5 minutes after the coffee run. Everyone stops for coffee.

There's techniques for everything, but they're all more effective if people know what they are in advance, to help the team police themselves.

 
 

I like your optimism. I do think these problems are solvable in the way you described, but there is one caveat to all of this: none of this works without team buy-in.

If the team doesn't think punctuality is important and is consistently five to ten mins late what can you do?

Furthermore, even if you have a moderator like a scrum master, I've found most scrum masters to be pretty passive in their approach to moderation, favoring conversations after stand up rather than correcting in the moment. Even the few that do attempt to correct in the moment are often not taken seriously.

I feel like a lot of this kind of reduces to, does your team give a shit enough to respect the rules of standup? In my experience most don't, and I can't imagine most corporate environments getting rid of developers / team-members for being late to stand ups.

 

I agree with Martin, you have more fundamental issues that are the root cause of this issue and a virtual standup isn't going to fix them. All that can do is reduce the 'cost' of your bad standups.

Fundamentally it seems you have 3 problems:

  1. people who do not respect scrum
  2. people who do not understand scrum (which could be the cause of #1)
  3. people who do not respect each other

3 is the most important and if it persist is a sign of a toxic work environment. You said that you brought this issue up but nothing happened. How and who you raised it to is important. Complaining that people should be on time for standup to the team is less likely to get results than getting the team to agree in a retrospective that being late and wasting other people's time is bad and putting it in the 'things to be improve' column or raising it to management that a few peoples conduct is wasting the rest of the teams time. In my experience management hates wasting their precious technical resources time (unless they're the one doing it :P) and will do something. It could be that the answer is to just cancel all standups, if they're not providing value.

 

Thanks and I appreciate the perspective. I think sometimes a different format can help direct and remove some of these unnecessary workarounds. We place processes in place because people don't behave the way we want them to behave. In an ideal world where people would just do what we ask, we wouldn't really need checklists and processes and doing things in a certain format.

I'm just proposing an alternative because it's been clear from talking to many closer colleagues that face to face Stand-Ups can be a total waste of time and needs to change. Unfortunately, when I propose change, many are resistant and go back to old bad habits.

 

I totally understand your proposal, and I'm not trying to talk you out of it - if it works for your team, i would be really happy for you :)

The question i always ask myself when i read proposals like these is "would i want to work with a team that works like that?"

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