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.