Agile working, Scrum, Daily Standups. There I’ve almost got a row on the Recruiter Bingo card. But seriously, I’ve worked at several companies in the last couple of years and I’ve been doing daily standups for more than 5 years now. In this article, I’ll talk about how daily standups can be more efficient.
It all started at Mollie where I worked as a PHP Developer (back in those days :)). Every morning the team came together standing around a big whiteboard full of post-its.
The main question was every single day for every person, what did you do yesterday, what will you do today and are you blocked to do that?
This daily rehearsal repeated for years and at all the companies I worked that layout was pretty the same.
I worked at teams who were really good at asking those questions, but I’ve also worked with team-members who were against all Scrum and Agile and saw the standups as a delaying annoying habit.
Now years later, I am working on the LemonPI team at Greenhouse Group and we do too have daily standups, but I can honestly say we do it better than I’ve ever did before. Which got me thinking and this is what we do different;
The daily standups are more than just asking what you did and if you’re blocked. It’s about reaching the sprint goal!
Let me add that we are full-Scrum (so not just the standups, but everything, retro, planning, refinements, board etc.)
And the lanes on our Kanban Board are:
(before sprint work) Backlog — Analyse — Refinement — Ready —
(in sprint work) Todo — Review — Acceptance — Ready for Release — Done
We have targets at our Scrum board which we set every day. We start with checking if those daily goals are reached. We walk through them from right to left (since the priority are the things that are the furthest on the tracks).
The daily goals are written down at the top of our board with non-permanent markers so we wipe them out when we checked them.
Next up is to set the daily goal of the stories that are already between To Do and Done. So, are there items waiting for release and can we release them? Set the target to done (which means they are shipped to production).
This way we talk about all running stories every day and the whole team knows the progress of the active stories.
Once we’ve set all possible daily goals for the running stories we do a round around the team members to ask if they are fully booked with the stuff that is in progress or that they can take on more load.
This way also our Business Analyst and Designer share what they are working on and mostly (we try to keep our stories as small as possible) there are several Engineers who can start something new.
Due to this process all team members (Product Owner, Business Analyst, Designer, Scrum Coach and Engineers) know about the progress and every other day we also ask ourself the question if we can make the Sprint Goal that we’ve set in the Sprint Planning.
With a proper defined Sprint Goal we have a clear view of what we’ve shipped in our 2-week sprints.
Do you want to work in an environment like this? We are actively looking for Engineers, so let me know!