Andy Crouch - Code, Technology & Obfuscation ...

Daily Update Meetings

Man Staring Out Over Lake

Photo: Unsplash

Stand-up, Huddle, Daily Scrum - so many names for such a key meeting in an Agile teams process. Wikipedia describes a Stand-up meeting as:

“A stand-up meeting (or simply “stand-up”) is a meeting in which attendees typically participate while standing. The discomfort of standing for long periods is intended to keep the meetings short”

The aim of the daily meeting is to communicate progress, plans and obstacles. Nothing more. They should be focused and managed (usually by the scrum master).

But, forcing the team to stand to keep the meeting short means that the Stand-up is not always effective. I have endured some horrific stand-up meetings caused by a particularly grumpy developer. They used the meeting to moan about everything from the requirements to why a vendor had changed an API. The person running the meeting was too weak to deal with the developer. The situation wasted a great amount of time on that team. I have also worked on a team that made the meeting too short. No obstacles were discussed during the meeting. They were always taken offline. That meant that communication suffered as did knowledge transfer.

Once you have a remote team across time zones things become even more interesting. At Open Energy Market we have decided to conduct the daily update meeting via Slack. We have created a channel specifically for the updates. Each team member has until 9:30 (UK) time to provide their update. It follows the same requirements as a standard daily scrum; what was achieved yesterday, what do you plan to achieve today and what (if any) obstacles are blocking you. We have added what did you learn yesterday to the criteria as well. I have found this method works very well and encourages some useful discussions.

Have you used different approaches to Stand Up meetings? What is your experience on differnt teams? Message me via twitter or email.