Blog Post

Agile and What is the purpose of stand up

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:45 AM

What is Stand Up

Stand Up  is also known as Daily Stand Up, Scrum or Daily Huddle. All those terms actually mean same thing.

The stand-up meeting is held to get team members in sync and identify how well the team is progressing toward the sprint goal.

This practise is very common in software development, but can be implemented across the whole business, such as marketing or sales.

 

The structure of stand up

In agile software development daily standup or scrum meeting is a common ritual for many teams, the daily stand-up meeting a.k.a“daily scrum”“15 minutes meeting”

Each team member should address his or her statements to the other team members, which enhances a collaborative atmosphere. 

“The whole team meets daily for a quick status update, meeting take place standing in circle by answering three basic questions”

 

Three questions to report on

  • What did you do yesterday ?
  • What is the plan for today ?
  • Any blocker in the work you are doing ?

This allow any team member to be aware of a work what is being/been done by others.

  • It can uncover possible duplication of work
  • Allows sharing knowledge about specific problem
  • Highlights issues that may be not known by the others.

Who should be joining stand ups

  • Product Owner (Optional)
  • Team members
  • Scrum Master (Facilitator - is the meeting leader)

   

 

What is purpose of scum master?

  • Send recursive calendar meeting invitation
  • Send recursive calendar meeting invitation to all team member including product owner.
  • Choose the morning time which is suitable for every team member, as its good habit to start the day with daily standup, scrum meeting
  • Emphasis on punctuality
  • Soft penalties for being late, if any team member join the daily scrum late, ask him/her to put 1 $ in the pool, that can be used to buy some candies for team, its just a token to be punctual, shouldn’t be used to offend anyone.
  • Record all the problems, open questions, impediments and resolve it later.
  • Scrum master interrupts if discussion goes into detail level, as scope of this meeting is sharing information not discussing the problem or solution in detail.
  • Don’t delay the standup or daily scrum meeting if some team member arrive late at work

 

 

Common questions of scrum master

  • What did you do yesterday ?
  • What is the plan for today ?
  • Any blocker in the work you are doing ?

Common issues and solutions

1, Too much technical details

Scenario:

A team member reports on the progress and issue he/she has come across and goes into solution details. Other team members are asking valid question and the conversation carries on for about 5 minutes. After while you can notice people start looking at their phone or looking about and you can tell thy are not paying attention. 

Solution to this

When conversation that goes into too much technical details and the conversation goes longer than 3min the scrum master should stop the conversation.

The conversation may be carried on after the stand up finish with selected members who are required for the meeting.

Reasons for this:

 Rest of the team who is not directly involved in this specific solution can carry on.

 It keeps the meeting short and focused.

2, It is not planning meeting

Scenario:

 many stand-ups, I've observed that the meeting starts or ends with a keynote from the ScrumMaster on a new requirement, which he just received or learned about.

The ScrumMaster explains it to the team and asks whether the team can drop one of the other requirements and pick up this new one. Even worst the new priority gets added and the pressure on team increases.

Solution to this

Once this discussion begins, no one gets the chance to share their updates, and the stand-up turns into a planning meeting. In such cases, I suggest that the ScrumMaster stick to the pattern of stand-up meetings. To discuss a new requirement, arrange a new 15-minute meeting just after the stand-up.

Include

- development team

- product owner

Then here is the right time to discuss the requirement, its priority, and so on.

Reasons for this:

 Rest of the team who is not directly involved in this specific solution can carry on.

 It keeps the meeting short and focused.

3, It is stand up - do not sit!

Scenario:

 When there is a team of 8 people in a room attending a stand up and when chairs are available the members tends to sit (often the number of chairs is not adequate to number of team members). Stand up goes on and you can see the members to actually look on the members who sits more than the other members.

Solution to this

Just do not allow members to sit, unless there is a valid reason. (Joe has broken a leg)

Reasons for this:

This breaks the spirit of stand up. Where is the team pride?

4, Stating the same daily task on consecutive days

Scenario:

If a developer states the same daily task on consecutive days (another stand-up no-no) the team should take a minute to ask what's holding them up and whether they need help moving through it. If they've got an issue that can't be addressed quickly, other team members can work with them after the stand-up.

"Sometimes people are too polite to call each other out". That's a problem when a developer is into the third day of what should be a four-hour task.

Any team member has their right to say, what is going on and is there anything I can help you with.

Solution

There can be multiple factors to this, from which some of them are:

  • Task has been poorly estimated. In this case there should be new tasks created for each work item what has been done.
  • Team member does not update their task and works on something else. 
  • Team member is waiting on information that has not been provided

Scrum master/team members should be asking, why this has not been progressed?

At the end, if one member fails, the whole team fails.