Pimp up Your Daily Standup

Pimp up your Daily Standup

If you’re applying Scrum in your project you are most likely aware of the three questions from the Scrum Guide that can be used to structure your Daily Standup:

  • What did I do yesterday that contributes to the sprint goal
  • What am I going to do today that contributes to the sprint goal
  • What is blocking me

I was never really convinced and didn’t see real evidence with the teams I worked with that they help to organize the work for the Day.

I think the reason is that these questions are focusing on the people doing the work and not on the work itself. And because they are focusing on the people the daily standup can easily turn into a status meeting and nobody wants to be there.

So what to do instead?

I’m a big fan of the Kanban principles and practices, and I especially like its focus on the Flow of work and not on the people doing the work. From that perspective, I personally find the following Daily standup structure and questions way more helpful, no matter if you apply Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, or any other Agile way of working:

Stand in front of your board (or share it in your video conference system) and go from right to left. Select the rightmost column before the “Done” column and for each issue in this column ask:

  • What can we finish today?
  • Who can help?

Next, look at the rest of the columns and ask any or all of the following questions.

  • Is there a pullable card?
  • What work is blocked?
  • Is any of our work hidden and not on the board?
  • Is anyone working on too many issues?

All these questions are focusing the team on collaborating together and getting things done. And chances are very low that your daily standup turns into a status report meeting.