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The Power of Knowledge

By Stacia Broderick

When beginning (or when trying to reestablish) Daily Standup Meetings, it is important to educate the team on some key principles.

Remind the team of the purpose of the Daily Standup Meeting: To allow each team member to discuss what they’ve worked on since the last meeting, what they will work on by the next meeting, and what obstacles are preventing completion of tasks associated with the commitments of the sprint. This constitutes a forum for team members to sync up in order to meet the goals of the sprint. Additionally, obstacles are brought forward from the team so that the ScrumMaster may remove them.

Remind the team of who owns the meeting: The Team! The Team! The Team! The ScrumMaster exists at a daily standup meeting to facilitate and remove obstacles. Team members should use the meeting to sync up with each other about their tasks (of course, non-daily-standup-meeting synching should be happening behind the scenes). Chickens (or observers) are not allowed to chime in during this meeting. Drooling, paleness, glassy-eyed stares, and robotic answers to three questions are certainly symptoms of a Daily Standup Meeting gone horribly wrong and a sign that the team does not own this meeting.

Remind the team of the benefits of the Daily Standup:

– Team gets to self-manage, sync up every day, and make adjustments in its plan.
– Stakeholders have visibility into the team’s work resulting in a higher level of trust
– It provides a chance to voice obstacles and have them magically whisked away by a ScrumMaster.
– A way to kick off the day, energized and in full understanding of where your team members are with their tasks.
– Provides a great forum for the team to review its burndown chart & backlog to see how work is progressing from the sprint level.
– Sometimes this is the one time of day when all team members are in the same place at the same time; take advantage of this common time.
– Have fun! Teams can use this as a creative space. I’ve seen some teams end the meeting with a riddle or brain teaser.
Discuss meeting time and place: Team decides time and place. If time and place do not work for the team, team reserves right to change time and place.

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