leanpizza.net - tasty Agile… one slice at a time – by Olivier Lafontan

Coaching,Experiment,Stand Up,Trial

June 29, 2011

Stand ups: they are not about the past!

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A quick post to highlight an important issue I have witnessed many times at Stand Up meetings: people spending more time and effort recounting what they did yesterday than explaining what they want to achieve today.

When teaching or coaching Scrum, I always repeat the same thing: there are 3 levels of planning.

  • Release Level: high level intention of the amount of business value released overtime with some general ideas of the feature content
  • Sprint planning: defined and measurable amount of business value increment contained in a precise set of features
  • Daily planning: defined and measurable amount of product achievement towards the business value target for the sprint

Scrum meetings, or daily stand ups are the team’s chance to achieve the third level of planning. I see too many teams missing the point and focus on yesterday’s achievement rather than today’s goal. This robs your team of a great chance for your team to self-organise, the meeting will feel like an unnecessary one, with no real purpose other than updating the burn-down chart, a sense for the team that “management” just wants to know that people were busy yesterday.

If you are a Scrum Master out there, or just a team member who feels their stand up lacks some “ooomph”, try this: repeat yourself that you”value the work the will do today more than the work the team did yesterday” (of course meaning that while there is value in the item on the right, we value the item on the left more:).

Make sure you go to your stand up with this little motto well stuck in your head and see if it changes the way you perceive the meeting, and the way you behave at this meeting. I am pretty sure you will see a difference, and if you do, please make sure you let your team members know about it, don’t even wait for your next Retrospective.

It works for me, let me know if it does for you too.

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  1. Good point, Olivier.

    Comment by Dennis — June 29, 2011 @ 8:12 pm
  2. Thanks Dennis 🙂

    Comment by Oli — June 29, 2011 @ 8:18 pm
  3. Great post and I totally agree Oli, it’s a chance to share our knowledge ..ie what we now know…and replan based on that!

    Comment by Julie — July 16, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

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