I like Stand-Ups for a couple of reasons: a nicely run stand-up offers a wide and open communication channel, and it takes only a few minutes to understand what the day will look like.
A daily stand-up is your team’s medical check-up. An experienced scrum master can read the health of the team and the state of the delivery by reviewing the Wall and observing interactions between people during the stand-up.
That might sound like music to the ear, but anyone who has tried to introduce stand-ups to an inexperienced team would know that this is not a picnic. There will be resistance, and as a scrum master, you are responsible for guiding cultural change without alienating people in the organisation.
How do I start daily stand-ups in my team or organisation?
Starting off the right way is crucial. Check out our 5 tips to making stand-ups work!
1. The "Why” of the stand-up - A stand-up helps you work with the Agile mindset. Your team should know (and should be reminded occasionally) the rationale behind getting together for 15 minutes every day. Having a stand-up does not mean anything unless the team has the right mindset.
2. A stand-up is not a reporting meeting - It is, rather, a gathering to share what will happen that day, talk about any impediments to delivery, and discuss how to remove them collaboratively. There is no note-taking or post-meeting reporting.
3. Be persistent and predictable - Team members should know where and when the stand-up is every day without having to check their calendars. The ideal place to have your stand-up is by a Scrum Wall*. Stand-ups take place even when the scrum master is away. From time to time, ask for volunteers in your team to run the stand-up - this prepares them to lead the stand-up when the scrum master is absent.
* The Scrum Wall is a visual display of the progress of the team during a sprint. It is a snapshot of the team’s project, showcasing the tasks that have been completed, as well as those that are in progress or yet to be started.
4. Absenteeism - Once an organisation has adopted stand-ups, attending them is part of an employee’s job description - not showing up at stand-ups is analogous to not attending a meeting that you are expected at. Absenteeism, due to conflicting meetings or being late, is often an early challenge for the new Agile team. Ideally, if a team member knows they will be absent, they should meet with their scrum master prior so that their information can still be represented at the stand-up.
5. Listen to your team and pivot - there is a difference between leading your people with a framework and imposing a way of working. If you team wants to adopt a "round-robin*" approach instead of "walking the wall", give it a go! As long as you keep to the team principles and focus on value, it is OK to alter your rituals and tailor the flow.
*In a "round-robin" approach, everyone in the team speaks in a determined order, whereas with the "walking the wall" approach, the team talks through the cards on the wall in sequential order.