What are Standups?

I was doing some research in to what Standups for agile teams are and created a summary + basic explanation of what Standups are in question and answer format below. Notes are from this article.

Summary

  • A standup is a 15 min max meeting to quickly plan for the next 24 hours
  • The standard structure for each person is: what did I work on yesterday? what am I working on today? What issues are blocking me?
  • There are ways to do standups in the same place, remotely, and asynchronously remotely.

Open Question: What would a 10x improvement in terms of product experience vs “asynchronous standup via slack messages” look like?

Notes on Standups

I don’t want to read about Standups, is there a video I can watch instead?

Here is a 4 min video! If you want to read keep scrolling 😄

What is an analogy to describe what a standup is?

Football teams and rugby teams have a huddle where they get together before the play to make sure everyone is on sync / on the same page.

For software teams, a standup is like a sports team’s huddle.

What is the “textbook definition” of a standup?

A standup is a 15 minute daily meeting to quickly plan for the next 24 hours.

They involve the core team (product owners, developers, and the scrum master) and include the following three questions to provide structure:

  • What did I work on yesterday?
  • What am I working on today?
  • What issues are blocking me?

What is the purpose of a standup? Why do they exist?

  1. They highlight progress.
  2. They help flag team blockers.
  3. They strengthen the team when everyone is sharing the progress they’re contributing to the team.

How should an individual prepare for a standup?

Come in to the standup knowing what you’re going to say. This keeps the energy of the standup high, and keeps everyone engaged.

What makes a great standup meeting?

  1. Choose a time that works for everyone
  2. Keep the standup efficient: Limit it to 15 min max

What if you are a distributed team?

The heuristic for remote teams is simple: if one team member is remote, treat every team member as remote. This applies to standups and all team ceremonies.

How do you do standups as a remote / distributed team?

Each team member should join the meeting on their own computer. With everyone on their own dedicated space and on the same video call, the team has leveled the playing field; all team members can see, hear and experience the same information at the same time.

That seems like overkill, why not just have the remote person video in?

Imagine a team of eight people with five people in one conference room, and three remote team members on a video call. There are several challenges for remote team members in this situation:

  • They can’t pick up on the side conversations
  • They can’t read body language
  • They can’t see gestures that don’t always translate through video
  • It is challenging to interject into a big group

With all eight team members on their own machines, no one will be missing out on important team dynamics.

What are some tips for remote standup meetings?

  1. Make team members visual: Use the “Brady Bunch” view where you can see multiple people at once
  2. Reference your scrum board: This keeps everyone on the same page. It can also help visualize each user story and work item as people provide their updates.
  3. Be open to asynchronous standups: For teams without overlapping work hours use asynchronous standups. Teams can Slack or comment on their work board to share updates as they come online.
Standups in Slack
Asynchronous standup meeting performed over Slack

Where can I read more on Agile and Scrum?

Check out this link for this and more! https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum

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