Agile – Stand-up meetings

I’ve been recently thinking about agile methodology and the way companies apply it. I’ve been working for the last 4 years in companies where agile is encouraged and used. We’ve been working on improving the mechanic of the process in order to make it suit our needs. I currently have the chance of being part of a team where we want to revisit our approach and see what we can do better. This is always a good sign when a company tries to improve its methodology in order to be more efficient. I’m confident we’ll succeed.

Regarding stand-ups meeting/scrums meeting/daily meetings, I think I would prefer to have them while standing up. I’ve been reading some material written by James Shore, from which I’ve taken some of the text I use in this post.

In our daily meeting, here’s the 3 questions we answer:

1- What did I do yesterday?
2- What will I do today?
3- What problems are preventing me from making progress?

The purpose of a stand-up meeting is to give everybody a rough idea of where the team is. It’s not to give a complete inventory of everything happening in the project. The primary virtue of the stand-up meeting is brevity. That’s why we stand: our tired feet remind us to keep the meeting short.

Each person usually only needs to say a few sentences about her status. Thirty seconds per person is usually enough.

Brevity is a tough art to master. To practice, try writing your statement on an index card in advance, then read from the card during the stand-up.

If you’re tactful, you can also interrupt extended reports or conversations and ask that people hold the discussion in a smaller group after the stand-up.

James Shore is a thought leader in the Agile software development community. He combines deep technical expertise with whole-system thinking to help development teams worldwide achieve high throughput, market focus, productivity, and quality.

Read more on James Shore’s website.

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