Our standups (as many standups) had devolved. They were taking too long, and people were just giving status reports. So we put up a list on the wall to remind us of the main points of standups:
- Ask for help
- Share interesting information
- Talk about what’s going on now
- (Optional) Talk about yesterday
— in that order. In other words, previously we were focusing on the least important step just because it was chronologically first.
Now, since we’re focusing on the present and future, we often don’t even talk about yesterday — unless something interesting happened then.
This also helps the standups scale to multiple teams all meeting together in the morning — we reserve 5 minutes at the beginning for each team lead to give an update, then go around and ask if anyone needs help or has something interesting to share. We also have an “Interesting” list on the whiteboard that people add to throughout the day. That makes each standup serve as a mini-retrospective… which, in turn, allows our monthly retrospectives to focus on big issues rather than the daily minutae.