Magazine article PM Network

Daily Torture

Magazine article PM Network

Daily Torture

Article excerpt

If your agile meetings run late, stand up for the right solution.

Of all the techniques promoted by agile approaches none is more abused than the daily stand-up meeting, From latecomers to over-talkers to non-talkers I've seen more frustration and confusion caused by poorly run meetings than by anything else. In theory, a 10-minute check-in every day should be more expedient than a weekly one-hour status meeting. But in practice, it can be easily derailed by a variety of reasons, from longwinded team members to agenda-less formats.

Here are some facilitation tips to help you get the value a stand-up meeting is designed to produce.

USE AN AGENDA. The most effective format of agile stand-up meetings is to have each team member answer three questions: What did you get done yesterday? What will you do today? What is preventing you from making progress? If you didn't finish what you said you would, then you have to identify what issue prevented you from doing so.

Sticking to this format fosters both accountability and collaboration.

DONT PROBLEM SOLVE. A daily check-in is designed explicitly to identify issues, not to solve them. When someone brings up an issue, don't derail the agenda by trying to get to the bottom of it. Finish the meeting and then decide to follow-up with one team member so that everyone else can get back to work.

ESTABLISH GROUND RULES. For a stand-up meeting to be effective, the team must establish and enforce some ground rules. For example, everyone must show up on time. …

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