Introduction to Agile Standup
Before I go throw into this topic of Agile Standup let me explain what does stand up mean in the context of agile. Agile Standup is like a strategy meeting, that keeps the entire team in the loop as to what is going on, what are their future objectives, tasks, deadlines, and uses it as a means to raise concerns or deadlocks if they are facing any. An analogy can be drawn from the universe of sports, where players often gather around and discuss game plan, tactics and strategize that they need to implement. Similarly stand-up is like a meeting of the stakeholders both internal and external can be used as a medium to discuss progress, raise issues and seek assistance.
By discussing one’s progress and hindrance one can know where they are standing and how they are contributing to the team. When other members share their progress, as a team you come to know where you stand and what is the road map ahead. If the team is deviating from its goal, stand up can serve as an excellent medium to come back on track, but very clear measures in place so that it is easy to stick to them and such deviations do not occur in the future. One can make use of very simple tools like a note pad, progress tracker to keep track of one’s development, the next steps and obstacles faced or will be faced in the future.
Steps for Successful Agile Standup
Below is a list of some steps that can be followed to have a successful Agile standup:
1. Time Suitability
In today’s modern work culture, teams working on a project are spread throughout the globe, companies do this to achieve diversity in the team, hire specialist and if the specialist is not able to travel due to any reasons, like personal requirements or if the company will bear cost burden of relocation, then specialist can work from his native place. Thus due to the diverse workforce, a time that suits everyone must be selected so that everyone can participate in this agile standup and are on par with the rest of the team.
Make sure that the material of substance is being covered, and members are not going completely off track. A record should be kept of issues discussed in the last agile standup, and minimum time should be taken to give updates on them, and then proceed with the day’s issues. One should also look out so that all members are contributing and encourage them if they are noted to encourage them to do so.
The company should not have an agile standup just for the sake of it, it should add value, increase efficiency on some level or the other. If this is not happening there should be flexibility in the process to make changes and if needed completely obliterate the process. Reducing the duration of an agile standup is also a viable option. If the team is widespread globally then complete elimination may not be a good idea as you will not know what other members are doing, in that case reducing the duration is a good alternative.
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4. Time Frame
It is important to have meetings in stipulated Time frames, members need to be allotted time prior to the stand up so that they can touch upon precise and pressing issues. This way redundant topics would be avoided and focus would remain on major concerns.
5. Isolate Issues
Stand up should also help senior members take note of issues and isolate them if needed. If a member is struggling then stand up can be a means to raise their concerns and then assistance or training can be given to them as per the requirement.
6. Additional Requirements
Senior members can use this medium to gauge if any further requirements may be required for the team, in terms of new hires, more training, and any additional resources.
7. Stay on Point
In order to maintain the order of the meeting a standard order of questions can be established, this can help maintain the meeting going completely off track.
- Issues faced in the last meeting and progress on them.
- Target before the next meeting.
- What are the additional requirements, if any?
By having a set of questions that apply to all members, all member’s participation can be obtained and they can have a say in the meeting. All sorts of problems should be discussed because a small problem if untreated can turn into a big problem later on, not only for the concerned person but if his work is dependent on others to function the entire cycle can be clogged.
8. Maintain Decorum
It should not be forgotten that everyone is part of one team working on achieving the same target. Hence blaming others should be avoided. Members can let other members know if there is something that is causing a hindrance in their work and collectively works on solving that.
Members need to be punctual and present for the meeting on time. This should be advocated especially if there is a global team. As time zones differ, advocating this from start will help everyone stay punctual.
10. Staying on Track
Members should avoid going completely off track and need to keep in mind that whatever they decide to share must be related to the topic of discussion and not talk about something completely random. Also, they should finish what they have to say within the stipulated time frame and allow sufficient time for others as well.
Lastly, agile standup meetings should not be the only time for members to communicate with each other they should reach out to their team before the next meeting if needed.
Thus will conclude with agile standup can be extremely useful, if implemented successfully with little planning. But at the same time, it can also be a complete redundant exercise if not implemented well.
This is a guide to Agile Standup. Here we discuss the 11 key steps for Agile standup. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –