I’m constantly skeptical on how hard is to make a good Stand Up (daily scrum if you prefer). Often the main point of it is missed along the path: make small checkpoints and baselines to set everyone on the same page.
Sometimes a simple status update like “yesterday I was with a problem, I’ve sent an email, I’ve got the reply and I implemented it. Today I’m going to work on the same feature” is really annoying. It doesn’t convey any information and will add nothing to the team.
A really good article about the Stand Up is the one written by Jason Yip and published at Martin Fowler blog. Although it’s a excellent source of information it bring the same three questions to be answered during the Stand Up:
- What did I accomplish yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What obstacles are impeding my progress?
So, what is exactly wrong about it? Instead of answering this I’m going to propose another set of questions:
- What did I/we discover yesterday?
- What is my/our plan for today?
- What might impact my/our plan?
Let’s discuss a little bit about each one of these questions.
What did I/we discover yesterday?
Can I say what I did yesterday? Definitely! But, I want to know what things you discover yesterday that everyone should know. The simply things accomplished/made might not be sufficient to satisfy my curiosity of what my peers did/discovered. Remember, we want to remember what was done and also keep everyone informed.
What is my/our plan for today?
Now, it’s not a simple “I’m will continue on it”. I wanna know what are your plans, what you have discussed with your pair. The tricky is to already have some thought on it!
What might impact my/our plan?
That’s differ completely from what the original question is. It unwittingly tend us to wait until next day to raise the blocked flag. A team will need to know at the very same moment a blocked/impediment happens. Waiting for the next to communicate a very important detail that’ll avert you/team of making progress is leastwise naive. So, here, the question that I propose is make you thing of what might avoid your progress towards your plan. And it’s ok if you don’t know of any.
And you? Any other trick question to help your team to make a good checkpoint?