Our team has been promoting agile software development workflow process’ over the last 18 months and one of the steps that always needs refining is our Stand-up meetings. These relatively short gatherings help the entire team present a short synopsis of the current sprint status. We started to realize that the meetings were devolving into redundant tell all updates, and so a recently hired Scrum master helped define a list of rules to keep us all honest.

Rules

  1. Unless you are controlling the sprint or physically unable to stand you are expected to stand during the standup
  2. Cases will not be updated during the Standup (Cases, for us, represents a unit of work or task)
  3. Listen to your Sprint Leader and the code word
  4. Keep your comments short and answer the following 3 questions:
    • Have you progressed on the case?
    • Will you hit the Sprint due date?
    • Are you blocked?
  5. If you are blocked be prepared to answer the following questions only (This is not the time for a history lesson of the case)
    • What is the blocking Issue?
    • What/Who do you need to unblock the issue?

Definitions

  • Sprint Leader - The individual who has their laptop and is projecting the Workflow Dashboard
  • Blocking Issue - The resources needed to complete the task are not available
  • Stand-up Meeting - Team meeting organized on a daily basis to present a quick status update to all teams.
  • Code Word - Agreed upon word that can be used by anyone in the Stand Up which represents that we are getting off task or going into more detail. When the code word is used the conversation is tabled till the offline meeting after the stand-up.

By limiting the amount of interaction during the sprint we will result in additional time available for an offline meeting at the end of the 30 minute meeting to discuss issues in more depth with only the stakeholders that need to be present if needed.

It should be noted that the Scrum Master Alliance would not necessarily approve that the daily standup rules were modified and they would consider this to be “Scrum But”. The official questions are as follows (Thanks to Rik Miller for this info):

  • What did you work on yesterday?
  • What are you going to work on Today?
  • Do you have any blocking issues?