Daily Standup Meetings - Introduction and 5 useful tips
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Roy Osherove in First Steps during chaos, Shu

 

A daily standup meeting is one of the easiest practices you can implement with your team. It only takes 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each day, and it increases the amount of communication and synchronization in the team immensely.

The idea is very simple

The whole team (usually no more than 10 people) literally stands up in a sort of circle so everyone can see each other. then the team lead (or the "facilitator" that was chosen for the team) will go one by one and ask each team member three simple questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you going to do today?
  3. Is there anything stopping you from getting your work done?

Question #1 is important for several reasons:

Question #2 also has its uses:

Question #3 is very important to prevent bottlenecks in the team productivity

it is your job as a team lead to make sure nothing is stopping team members from working on the things with the highest value to the project(s) they are working on. If they are not, find out why and solve it immediately after the meeting.

 

5 useful tips I learned the hard way

  1. Make sure it does not take longer than 15 minutes (that's why standing up is important - people don't feel comfortable ranting on when they stand up so things finish up quickly)
  2. Make sure that technical discussions do not ensue in the middle of the meeting. when one breaks out call it out as a "talk about this later, just the both of you" and ask people to move on
  3. When all else fails, you can tell the person who won't stop talking - "you have  30 seconds to finish your overview" and then move on.
  4. Don't be afraid to stop people in the middle of speaking. The rules must be clear and concise.
  5. Once you have this meeting, try to see what meetings you can now cancelfor the whole team. For example, in our company we have only two meetings a week where the whole dev team needs to be in: daily standup, and once a week a company meeting. besides those they are just at work, working.
Article originally appeared on Elastic Leadership (http://5whys.com/).
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