Is your stand up working for you?

Many teams follow the three questions for their stand-ups: “yesterday I did …; today I will do …; I am blocked by …”. Time and again I see the same anti-patterns: It is not a planning meeting but a status report to the PO or PM. The team is not listening to other team members.

A couple of weeks I watched the excellent lecture Patterns of Effective Teams by Dan North. He mentioned an alternate way of conducting the daily scrum. Rather then iterating over the team members the team goes down the sprint board by story. This simple inversion can have a major impact on the meeting. Two teams agreed to experiment with this alternate approach. They loved it!

The team gets a clear idea of the status of the sprint. It feels less like a status meeting and the order makes a lot more sense. Stories that have not been worked on automatically get attention. This approach is especially effective for distributed teams using a software board. The old way we would jump around the board which was hard to follow. Now we just go from the top of the board down.


This experience reminds me that:

  • Agile / Scrums is not about the rules but about the ideas and what works
  • Keep learning. Many blogs are boring but there are real great ideas out there
  • Keep experimenting

How do you do your standup?

The opinions represented in this blog are my own, and not that of my employer or the  organizations that I work with.