Taking the Status out of Standups

Today was a busy coaching day on a large release train with lots of good coaching conversations.  When I got to the “warm and fuzzy moments” part of my coaching journal at the end of the day, memories of the scrum of scrums in the morning put a such a huge smile on my face that I had to come home and blog.

One of the first things I will do walking in the door as a coach is to go and ‘chicken’ at stand-ups. 99 times out of a hundred, they’ll sound like a status report.  How can it be a self-organising team if they have a daily status report?  It’s meant to be the timeout where the team gets together for a moment to work out how best to work together that day on moving towards their goal.  Often, I find the real standup happens just after the formal one.  The scrum-master walks off, and all of a sudden the team lights up and has a great conversation.

Fixing a standup is a great place to start as a coach.  Changing that one conversation the team is guaranteed to have every day will lay a strong foundation for much of the deeper work to build on.  And I’ve built up quite a library of tips and tricks from conferences, blogs, colleagues and blind experiments.  The best ones always vary according to the team – I just offer a smorgasboard and encourage the team to pick one or two and try them out.

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