Daily stand-ups. Most of you have seen and participated in the usual 3-question stand-ups:

  • What have I done since the last stand-up?
  • What am I planning to do until the next stand-up?
  • What's blocking or impeding me?

Super simple, classic, outdated, missing the point.

This type of stand-up is perfect for a controlling PO (or PM), a line manager or - if the company is small enough - a CEO that's participating in the meeting. Anyone who wants to make sure, people are planning the work and working the plan. And barely anyone actually adjusts their personal plans for whatever their team mates are planning, except to avoid overlap or to address an impediment. They don't care about each other's status or the status of the stories in the other swim lanes.

The one thing this is not, is value- or output-focussed. I would not even really call this agile, apart from escalating impediments to be addressed immediately.

The daily stand-up should be a starting point to plan the day. To plan the smallest iteration we have. Instead of going in a circle with three questions, just answer two. And do so as a team.

  • What can we get done - or as close as possible to done - today?
  • What's stopping us from getting it - or more of it - done?

Turn every day into a small, laser-focussed step towards the sprint goal, which in turn should be a small, focussed step towards the quarterly goal, and so forth.

Make stand-ups about creation of value and not about controlling.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash