Getting even more value from your daily standup…

October 30, 2014

Many teams around here are familiar with the “famous 3” standup questions…

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. What impediments do you have?

This is a good way to get the team in the habit of communicating each day.

A few of my teams have gotten even more value out of our standup by changing the “famous 3”. I have seen this wonderful shift in the team’s intention of a standup when the questions have changed slightly…

  1. What did you learn yesterday?
  2. How are you contributing to our (sprint/iteration/release/etc.) goal?
  3. Is there anything we should swarm on?

So what is the difference, why does the second set of questions improve the standup?

Instead of talking about the status (which should be visible on your Kanban board or ALM tool), the discussions are about the goals and about learning. Now that the intention of the standup is a focus on goals and learning, we have an environment where people are propelling each other in the same direction.

Looking a little deeper…

  • We want to know what you learned because you are certainly learning something new each day about your code/tools/team/etc….and we could all benefit from sharing that.
  • We want to focus on our upcoming goals because we need to stay focused on our vision.
  • And we want to know what the team should swarm on because together we can make more happen with less effort.

I’m certain there are other ways to achieve similar results…but by changing your daily standup questions, the team grows together, swarms on issues together, and achieves their goals together.