Daily Stand-Ups

The Daily Stand-up (also known as the “Daily Scrum”) is the activity of the team to decide together each day what team members will focus on. It is quick, focused, and highly collaborative. Daily Planning is the responsibility of the whole team, each member talking with the rest of the team.

Why to do this practice

The purpose of the Daily Stand-up is to communicate progress, identify impediments, and create teamwork. It is not to solve problems. Problem-solving can be done afterwards, offline.

Stand-up meetings are efficient ways to ensure that all the developers and other stakeholders understand the value of what they are doing in relationship to the business/customer, and remain focused on the most valuable work. They enable early identification of issues so that they can be addressed before additional technical debt is accrued. There is an element of team building that comes from the interaction of peer pressure and peer support.

Who does this practice

Here are the roles involved in this practice:

What to do

The purpose of the Daily Stand-up is to communicate progress, identify impediments, and create teamwork. It is not to solve problems. Problem-solving can be done afterwards, offline.

Inputs

Before the Daily Stand-up can begin, the status of stories, tasks, and impediments must be updated on the team’s project board.

Approach

  1. Team gathers in designated area – all standing as they are able.
  2. Team quickly scans the work completed for the previous day.
  3. Review the most important work for the day is.
    • Team identifies the most important work. Team Agility Master asks who’s working on it.
    • Discuss if the complexity of work changed and how much time is left on your tasks.
    • Repeat until all team members have pulled work.
  4. Are there any impediments. Team Agility Master captures them if identified. The Team Agility Master ensures someone owns the raised impediment.

Discussion

Each team member is expected to speak and speaks to the whole team.

The team is not reporting to the Team Agility Master. The Team Agility Master is there to help facilitate the conversation but not to lead the session. Team members should be brief, courteous, answers questions succinctly, is ready to swarm if needed. The priority is to complete stories in progress before starting new stories.

The members agree to follow the simple rules of the Daily Stand-up described in Checklists.

Here are issues to consider:

  • What if the team falls behind? The iteration plan is just that: a plan. When the team determines it is falling behind, it should not just hope it will catch up. It should let the Product Manager know so he/she can prepare to remove stories from the iteration if necessary. Be hesitant to open any new stories until those in process are done (a good practice anyway) in case not all of the stories get completed.
  • What if the team goes faster than expected? If the team looks to complete its iteration ahead of time it should tell the Product Manager this so he/she can prepare to add some new stories to the iteration if they can be completed.
  • What if someone identifies an additional task in a story? When an additional task is discovered, you must determine if this will add time to complete the story. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. If the additional effort is insignificant, there really isn’t much you have to do. However, if the extra time now puts a story in jeopardy, it is important to ask the Product Manager if the story is still worth the extra cost.
  • How does the team make sure it is ready for the next iteration? A little look ahead is required in order to be sure enough analysis has been done to be able to make good estimation and planning during the iteration planning day. A certain number of stories should be analyzed prior to the iteration to prime the pump.

When to do this practice

Daily Stand-ups are done at a consistent time every work day. It is done at a time that is convenient to the whole team. When remote members are involved, this must be negotiated by the team.

The Daily Stand-up is 15 minutes.

Where to do this practice

The Daily Stand-up is conducted in a conference room or team area in the team’s work area.

Remote members can attend. They should have visibility of the team board. A web camera is optional.

Outcomes

Stand-up meetings are efficient ways to ensure that all the developers and other stakeholders understand the value of what they are doing in relationship to the business/customer, and remain focused on the most valuable work. They enable early identification of issues so that they can be addressed before additional technical debt is accrued. There is an element of team building that comes from the interaction of peer pressure and peer support