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

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Our team has had similar thoughts about the typical stand-up recently as well. For us, the problems were related to people but also the format.

  • Company dictated that agile process was "owned" by a single manager. Their attitude tended to be that everything needs to be done in the sprint, regardless of any problems. Others quickly fell into a pattern of not bringing up issues due to negative reactions or being called out, instead of a helpful environment. It became a report to your manager meeting or a PSA meeting about deadlines.
  • The three typical stand-up questions were not giving us much information (partly due to the reason above this one). Sometimes work overlapped, sometimes it didn't. I usually did not care much what others worked on or were working on, I could look at our board for that information. What I cared about was what I might need from the team or what I could do to help the sprint move forward. If others were not willing to share and answered the bare minimum for the three questions, it would have required someone (scrum master) to draw information out of each person without seeming overbearing, which can be draining and is not an easy task.
  • Nothing documented from the meeting, nothing comes out of it. For those that were looking to get something out of it, it felt like a mandatory waste of time.
  • As you mentioned, people were late, missed the meeting regularly, or just wanted to chit-chat.

We did the Slack-bot stand-up 2 days a week, but those seemed even more ineffective because not everyone filled it out or read the other statuses.

We ended up moving to a format with a documented agenda that roughly stays the same from sprint to sprint. Each "stand-up" (it became more of a sit-down) we review the purpose of the meeting, pull up the sprint board, and document any actions that come out of it. It became a bit more structured and I think we get a lot more out of it. This does require someone putting together the agenda and starting the meeting by reviewing it. Those that like to chat or stroll in late to the meeting may not like this format. We are working on ways to make this a little less rigid.

I'm not sure why this is the go-to format in most information out there on agile, it relies on all people being onboard and working to get the most out of the stand-up. I think that type of scenario is hard to come by. I would say adjusting to meet your team's needs is the way to go.

 

Thank you for the insight into your team. This just shows that there is no one solution. The traditional Stand-Up is just one form of tool which perhaps was abused or used a little too religiously. I am happy to hear that you found a format that worked for you team, and perhaps everyone should start evaluating how best to make information flow efficiently in their own team.

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