Thursday Management Series

The Daily Standup – Do’s and Don’ts

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Every single day of a sprint begins with a quick meeting called as the Daily Standup (or Standup or Daily Scrum) which should ideally last not more than fifteen minutes. It is a meeting  held for the developers to discuss and share what they had worked on yesterday, what will be they be working on today and if there are any blockers or risks that can prevent them from achieving their sprint goal. But, to make the most of these meetings, it is essential that we follow some of the Do’s and Don’ts.

  • Always start the meeting on time even if some team members are missing. Every developer in a sprint has certain hours of work to perform. A delay of even a few minutes can lead to potential loss of work.
  • Stick to fifteen minutes! In an ideal scenario and with an ideal team size, this meeting should not last more than fifteen minutes. But, for larger teams, the duration can be modified to suit the project needs. It is very easy for a meeting to be dragged if there is no time limit set. This can eventually lead to loss of hours that could have been used for the actual development. Do keep in mind to keep the discussions short and to the the point.
  • Do not hide any blockers or issues. It is always better that the team is well aware of any risks or delays that can happen rather than such things popping up at the end of the sprint. Also, since all the team members are present at one place, it is quite possible that a team member might have a solution to offer. This way the issue can be tackled immediately.
  • Do not postpone or cancel the meeting irrespective of anything. They should be conducted every single day.
  • Each team member should answer only these three questions – what did he work on yesterday, what will he work on today, and if there are any blockers or risks.
  • Let the discussions be limited to what this meeting should be about. Another meeting can be scheduled for other project related discussions.
  • Make sure entire team is involved in the discussion so that everyone is well aware of what is happening in the project.
  • This meeting is not a place for one-on-one discussions or individual discussions in multiple groups.

Always remember that Scrum expects the team to work together in parallel to achieve outstanding results. If you are not following these do’s and don’ts, make sure you start following them immediately to achieve the most out of a daily standup!

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