When conducting an agile daily standup, there are several best practices you can adopt to ensure a productive and efficient meeting. Here are some recommendations:
- Timebox the meeting: Keep the daily standup short and focused. Aim for a timebox of 15 minutes or less, depending on the team size. This encourages brevity and ensures that discussions don’t become lengthy or off-topic.
- Stick to the three questions: Follow the standard three-question format of the daily standup: What did you accomplish yesterday? What are you planning to do today? Are there any blockers or impediments? This helps maintain consistency and keeps the focus on progress and obstacles.
- Maintain attendance discipline: Ensure that only the necessary team members are present in the daily standup. It should primarily involve individuals directly involved in the project or those who need the information shared. Avoid turning it into a status update meeting for stakeholders or managers.
- Maintain a visual board: Use a physical or digital board to visualize the team’s tasks, progress, and blockers. This allows everyone to have a clear understanding of the current status and fosters transparency and collaboration.
- Focus on impediments and blockers: If someone raises a blocker or impediment during the meeting, make it a priority to address it. Identify potential solutions or assign owners to resolve the issue promptly. This helps keep the team productive and removes any obstacles hindering progress.
- Encourage engagement and collaboration: The daily standup is an opportunity for team members to share updates, seek assistance if needed, and collaborate. Encourage open communication, active listening, and the sharing of relevant information. Avoid side conversations or distractions during the meeting.
- Keep discussions offline: If any discussions or topics require more time, suggest taking them offline. The daily standup should not turn into a meeting for detailed discussions. Instead, schedule separate meetings or conversations for in-depth conversations and problem-solving.
- Adapt the meeting to the team’s needs: While the three-question format is standard, feel free to tailor the daily standup to your team’s specific needs. Some teams may benefit from additional questions or prompts, such as asking about upcoming dependencies or risks. Customize the format to enhance productivity and collaboration.
- Iterate and improve: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your daily standup and gather feedback from team members. Adapt and refine the process as needed to ensure it remains valuable and aligned with the team’s goals.
For those not using Scrum boards, a basic template like the one shared by Atlassian can be used. This can be captured in Confluence (or your document management system) and your team can update it on a regular basis.