Lately I’ve spent quite much time focusing on improving how my teams do stand ups and what occurred to me is that there are bad practice patterns showing up in multiple teams.
I collected and analyzed data from my teams and it seems that there are 2 main problems that makes the teams life harder and our daily stand ups less effective.
- The teams fail to create a plan for the day
- Not all important topics come up that should
To solve the issues stated above I set some expectations up that we as a team should achieve in the future.
- Make sure we have a plan for the day (It’s great to hear what you did yesterday but that won’t help today)
- Make sure that all topics come up that should (It’s okay to have a stand up that’s 15 mins long)
- Make sure that everyone understands what they must do today so that the team can be successful that day and in the sprint
- Make sure that the team and the product owner are fully aware of how the sprint is doing (So that we can re-plan the sprint as early as possible if needed)
Recently I started using Scrumile a tool that has many great features that help my teams become more successful and efficient. Fortunately it has a great daily stand up support as well, so I started using that, created a new agenda and rules for our daily stand ups.
- First open up the Live Dashboard tab in Scrumile (it supports a great overview of what happening without too much distracting information)
- Go around and every team member explains their plan and progress by answering to the following questions:
What are you planning to do today?
If you succeed with what you’re planning to do today, how will that effect the story you’re working on? (Essentially creating a plan of when the story will end)
Can anybody help in your story that you’re working on? (Help the team to focus on what’s important)
Is there any obstacle in front of you?
- Open up the Stand up tab in Scrumile.
- Write down the impediments and crucial information that came up in the tool. (Will be a great reference later when doing retrospective etc.)
- Take a look at the daily statistics shown in the tool (Sub task burn down chart, Story point burn down chart, stories WIP chart).
- Do a fist of five (Team sprint health). On my mark every team member shows a number from 1 to 5.
5 — Everything is fine, we will surely have a successful sprint
4 — We need to pay close attention, the end of the sprint may be tight
3 — We need to rethink the sprint, maybe we need to remove a story from it
2 — We surely need to remove one or multiple stories from the sprint to succeed
1 — Let’s stop the sprint and start a new one, there’s no reason to continue it this way
- Write in Scrumile every number the team members show (Scrumile draw charts from it and possible intelligently recommend what to do with the result)
- Assess together the result of the Team Sprint Health if needed
- Share information that effects the team (any organization wide changes etc.) I use the information column in Scrumile so that I don’t forget to share any information
As a result on our retrospectives (btw. we used Scrumile for our retro and my teams loved it) nearly every one of my team members (15 members) shared the following:
- They feel like our daily stand ups’ efficiency sky rocketed (Yep I can confirm that with some data points :))
- On the stand ups we’ve talked about all the important topics that needed to be discussed
- Every team member agreed that they we’re more confident and motivated after the daily stand ups because they new what’s needed to be done that day
- Our PO said that he had a lot more information about the sprint than ever before
Hope this article will help you reassess and possibly elevate the quality and effectiveness of your stand ups as well.