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50454Re: [scrumdevelopment] Deviating from Scrum: The standup meeting

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  • Adam Sroka
    Mar 2, 2011
      On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 6:05 AM, peterskeide <peterskeide@...> wrote:
      > Hi everyone,
      > During the last couple of years I have been a member of several small teams (3-4 people) that have started out using Scrum or some variation. After a while, I started noticing a trend: The teammembers see little or no value in the daily scrum meeting. Sometimes the team decides to drop it.
      > I'm currently Scrum Master for a team where we have made significant changes to the format for the standup meeting based on feedback from the retrospectives: we focus solely on impediments (a bit like the Kanban style standups). At present time, I get the feeling that some members of the team see no point in keeping even this part of the standup. This sprint I'm running an experiment where I've relied entierly on the team to self-organize the standup meeting. The result has been almost no standup meetings so far.
      > The best argument I have heard so far in favor of dropping the standup is that it can be redundant in a small, colocated team. When you sit around the same table all day, pair program often and generally talk to each other a lot, it's a bit like gilding the lily.

      It's not so much that it is redundant as that the information is
      arriving at the wrong time. It is too late to for me to help you with
      what you were doing yesterday, and I am less interested in what you
      are doing now - while I am busy with something else - than I will be
      in what you are doing when I finish.

      > There are obvious downsides to dropping the standup: the visibility aspect of it lost. Granted, this only matters if people outside the team actually bothers to attend the meeting. Still, if there are no standup meetings, there will be nothing for potentially interested stakeholders to start attending.

      I don't think so. What I like to do is open the room up to anyone who
      wants to be a fly on the wall, but if you want to ask questions you
      have to participate in whatever it is we are doing. That way customers
      can show up at whatever time is convenient for them, but their ability
      to interfere and "break the flow" is limited by their
      willingness/desire to directly contribute.

      > Another problem I've experienced on teams who don't do standups is that important issues will sometimes escape the attention of people who can do anything about them before it is too late, despite colocation. Keeping the daily scrum will perhaps help teams catch some of these issues.

      Late is better than never. That's why stand-ups are so important to
      brand new teams. Once you get used to talking throughout the day the
      risk of this diminishes considerably.

      > Standup meetings also have a commitment aspect that will be lost without them. Perhaps this can be offset by a collective feeling of responsibility for getting things done. When almost the entire team will work on a User Story, having each team member commit to get something done in front of the rest of the team doesn't always feel quite natural. A bit like going through the motions, perhaps.

      Work items going for a day or more without discernible progress is
      always a problem when it happens. The stand-up meeting tends to make
      this easy to detect, but if it is already easy to detect then the
      stand-up meeting doesn't add anything.

      > Any thoughts about this? Similar experiences? Anybody know a format for the standup meeting that is a good fit for a small team?

      Some folks suggest switching up the format of the stand-up meeting to
      keep it fresh. Personally, I would say that if the team is not getting
      any value out of it then consider not holding the meeting for a Sprint
      or two to see what happens.
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