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The Daily Standup Dos and Don’ts: How to Make Your Team’s Morning Meeting More Productive

What are the top 3 stand-up-related queries?

By Skillier Published 10 months ago 4 min read

What are the top 3 stand-up-related queries?

You may find the three daily standup questions in a scrum meeting by performing a simple Google search for them: What did you do the day before? How are you spending today? What, if anything, is preventing your development?

What did you do the day before?

Here is a brief summary of what was accomplished yesterday (and, if something wasn’t accomplished, why not). Each individual shouldn’t go over their whole list of tasks at this time; instead, they should concentrate on the substantial tasks that took up their deep attention time and the tasks that are important to the team as a whole.

How are you spending today?

The second question analyses the team’s daily duties and filters out or eliminates those that don’t advance the project’s main objective. Many scrum masters struggle with this issue.

Let’s assume that speeding up the website is the aim of this project. Nevertheless, during the standup, the development team member announces that they will concentrate on debugging a problem that has nothing to do with speeding up the website today. Attendees of the standup can draw attention to this as it does not advance the main objective of making the site quicker. The engineer will change his approach today in order to line with the team’s pressing project goals.

This approach makes the Standup more effective to achieve the goal setup by the team.

What, if anything, is preventing your development?

The third and final question is pivotal in scrum as it allows the team to identify any issues or roadblocks that are hindering their progress. This could be something as simple as not having the right tools or resources, or it could be something more complex like a lack of understanding

What are the Impediments: Do the team have any obstacles keeping them from completing their work? Technical constraints, departmental and team interdependence, and personal constraints are all things to consider here (like vacations booked, people out sick, etc.).

Examples of Impediments:

Development Team: Have trouble setting up the database backup.

Marketing Director: Yesterday, our email service provider was down. So work has been pending from yesterday.

Customer Service Team : Waiting for the technical team to respond with information on how to fix an issue for one of our clients.

Things to avoid in the daily scrum are:

Anything that could be perceived as a status update like “I’m done with that task”, “I’m halfway through this other task”. These types of statements don’t provide any value to the team and can make the meeting drag on. Also, avoid anything that could turn into a mini-meeting. If something comes up that needs more discussion, table it for after the scrum or schedule a separate meeting. The daily scrum is meant to be a quick, concise update on progress towards the sprint goal. Anything that could turn into a discussion or debate like “we should” statements, and anything that isn’t actionable. If a team member is having trouble with something, the goal of the daily scrum is to help them identify what they need so they can move on with their work. It’s not meant to be a time to solve all of the team’s problems.

Any topics that are not related to the team’s current sprint goal like “We should add this new feature” or “I think we should use a different technology” should be saved for the sprint retrospective or other scrum meetings.

If any of these things come up, they should be addressed after the meeting.

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