In my experience, Daily Meetings or Daily Stand-ups are the easiest agile “ceremony” to adopt, but the easiest to drop.
In this post I’ll talk about what’s the problem with adoption of agile in this specific matter.
Easiest to adopt
Even agile skepticals appreciate a huge value in daily stand-ups. Martin Fowler summarizes pretty well the goals of the stand-up meeting:
- share commitment
- communicate daily status, progress, and plans to the team and any observers
- identify obstacles so that the team can take steps to remove them
- set direction and focus
- build a team
The magic about this meeting is that those goals are easily perceived as achieved because of the dynamic and energy you can feel and the immediate results you achieve.
Easiest to drop
But if stand-up meetings are such good thing, why is it that after a while, some groups (not teams, groups and teams are not the same, I’ll talk about that in another post) tend to dismiss stand-ups?
Here are some causes:
- It’s viewed as a “ceremony”. This is not a ceremony, a magical ritual that by means of routinary practice, the stars will bless you live. Not at all, if you are not seeing any objective advantage of doing any ritual then stop doing it! Stand-ups are not silver-bullets for eliminating risks, but invaluable opportunities to find them. It’s not a source of energy, but an energy incrementator, which assumes energy inputs.
- It just pursue a single goal. This is not a just a daily status tool, if you turn it in a status checker, it will become a boring unilateral meeting without sight of the road ahead beyond current iteration, building uncommon interests in team members. Don’t pick just one goal and make it the single goal to pursue. Pick them all, before facilitating any stand-up, review them all and give them equal importance.
- It’s not kept stand-up. A sit-down meeting conveys a feeling of formal meeting that can last longer that fifteen minutes. If that happen, daily meeting will start to be expensive and boring. All Agile practices a meant to be like oil that lubricates the motor of execution. But oil changes can’t be as expensive as the gasoline or as the motor itself. So be efficient in stand-up meetings, keep it short, keep it stand-up.
More information about stand-ups: