The Action Engineering team embraces an Agile mindset & Scrum practices in our work.
In our Agile articles, we share tips & coaching opportunities that work well for us.
Why do I need to report out every day what I’m working on? Can’t you just see that from the scrum board?”
The daily scrum helps determine what conversations need to happen after the meeting to keep work progressing. As engineers, we have a reputation for being introverts, and most of us have a strong dislike of talking on the phone. These two character traits can make the thought of a daily conversation about what we’re working on sound worse than going to the dentist.
The goal of a daily stand up is to not pass judgment on what work has and has not been completed, it is to allow us as a group to set our intentions for the day. While the daily stand up is a useful tool, it can be a challenge to make it as effective as possible.
Is no one using the daily stand up to raise impediments? They might be thinking that they have to bust impediments alone, forgetting that they have the Scrum Master and other members of the development team in their corner and ready to help. Ensure that when impediments are raised, they get visibility and are worked. Track impediments on the Scrum board and assign an owner. Giving impediments visibility and actually solving them will encourage others to bring them up.
Is your team located across different time zones and have conflicting schedules, making it impossible for everyone to attend the daily stand up? Give a virtual stand up a shot. Instead of coordinating a time for everyone to be on the phone together, try posting the three standard questions to the team in a virtual way such as a Microsoft Teams chat or Slack. Facilitate a conversation by commenting or reacting to teammates’ posts; these small connection points keep it from being just another status update.
Do your daily standups seem to run on forever and ever? Try waking up your body along with your brain by stepping away from your computer and stretching. Moving around will shake up our all-day routine of staring at a screen.
If this doesn’t do the trick, up the ante – what song would your team dread hearing if they run out of time? Set a countdown alarm with everyone’s least-favorite song if they go over the allotted timebox. Avoiding the countdown will help everyone stick to the important topics! (Looking for ideas? The Action team nominates Baby Shark.)
Need help coaching your team to lead productive daily standups? We’re here and happy to help. Send us a message!
Former Agile Team Lead,