This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!
This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.
- Whole Team
We coordinate to complete our work.
I have a special antipathy for status meetings. You know the type: a manager reads a list of tasks and asks about each one in turn. They seem to last forever, although my part is usually only five minutes. I learn something new in perhaps 10 of the other minutes. The remaining 45 minutes are pure waste.
- Informative Workspace
Organizations have a good reason for holding status meetings. People need to know what’s going on. But Agile teams have more effective mechanisms: informative workspaces for status and the daily stand-up meeting for coordination.
Cargo Cult: Sit Down Stand-Up
It’s 10:03 am, and your team is once again clustered around your stand-up meeting room, waiting for the previous occupants to clear out.
“Remind me why we need this room again?” Stevie asks. “All the other ones were booked,” Vicente replies. He’s your Scrum Master. “And we need the projector. Look, they’re getting up.”
Five minutes later, you’re all comfortably seated and Vicente has the issue tracking tool projected on the wall. “Okay, let’s do our stand-up,” Vicente says, leaning back in his chair. “Justine?”
Justine looks up from her phone. “Oh, yeah. Uh...yesterday I was working on story #1106. Today I’m still working on it. No blockers.”
“Great,” Vicente replies. “Adriana?”
“Still working on #1109. No blockers.”
Vicente continues around the room, making a few updates in the tool as people speak in the same vein. “Okay, that’s it. Thanks, everyone. Remember to update your story status so we don’t have to do it in the meeting. See you tomorrow.”
It’s 10:20. As you head back to your desk, you reflect on the stand-up. It’s fast, at least, but so... useless. Other than Vicente updating everybody’s status in the tool, it feels like a waste. What’s missing?
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In this Section
- Stand-Up Meetings
- Cargo Cult: Sit Down Stand-Up
- How to Hold the Daily Stand-Up
- 1. Walk the board
- 2. Focus on completion
- 3. Choose tasks
- 4. Take detailed conversations offline
- Sidebar: Old-School Stand-Ups
- Be Brief
- Alternatives and Experiments
- Further Reading