In my last blog on agile, I tried to extend agile implementation outside IT and service industry. If you are interested, you can find it here.
SCRUM is the most adopted and proven agile methodology. And Standup is the crucial part of Scrum manifesto. For readers who are not aware of SCRUM- ‘Standup’ is short 15-20 minutes meeting, in which all the team members gather together and quickly ‘Discuss’ the progress for the Sprint. This helps the team to be in synchronization. Mostly this happens on start of each ‘Sprint’ day.
I observed multiple things is standups. There are some misconceptions about standup. Some of them are:
- Standup is ‘Status’ meeting
Sometimes ‘Standup’ becomes status meeting. In which all the members, one by one give status to Scrum Master regarding the progress of their work.
This is not the right way of standup. We are not giving status to particular person, but we are quickly discussing the progress of the user stories in the sprint or scope for the sprint
- Scrum Master must be there to drive standup
I have seen, teams waiting for the scrum master to be there for the standup. Because they perceive that SM controls that meeting. When SM arrives, he drives the Standup and team gives status (as point 1) to him
Actually, SM is not the mandatory part of standup. He is just there to guide them. The team should have standup even if SM is not there.
- Cutting people short in the standup
My observation is, there are mechanisms in the team to keep people short. That’s okay as standup should be the short meeting. But sometimes there are mechanisms such as timer- for ex. The team member should not talk more than a minute.
This is not right. If the person is taking slightly longer time provided he is focusing on the sprint scope, that is still okay. Eventually, the team should achieve the objective of having standup meeting.
- Multiple standups in a day:
Sometimes few teams conduct multiple standups on the same day. I believe that’s not the right way of working. As even agile says-we should have the minimum number of meetings and more productive work.
- Standup meeting with technical discussion
Most of the time while mentioning the points, team members start getting into more details and it turns out to be the technical discussion.
Standup is not for technical discussion and team members should refrain themselves from getting into more technical discussions during standup. The focus should be more towards the progress of the sprint goal, blockers and actions.
Ultimately, the objective of standup is to keep all the team members in synchronization for the progress of the sprint scope and to focus them on sprint goal. Discipline and transparency is the backbone of the Scrum. Hence following timings and keeping all the team members aware of the progress of work is very much important. Scrum board is guiding board for the standup. Keeping the eye on the stories and tasks to move from ‘To Do’ column to ‘Done’ column is very much important. If any of the tasks is not moving from a long time, meaning there is some action needs to be taken.
Standup helps to keep team efficiency high by reducing knowledge gaps of the sprint progress. Hence, if we do it in right way, it becomes more effective.