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How do you get the most value from daily standup meetings?

timothymcgrath profile image Timothy McGrath ・1 min read

My team has always done a daily standup. We have done two variations of it. One where each person explains what they did yesterday, what they're doing today, and mentions any blocking issues. Another version where we look at each active item on the kanban board and review it's state.

As the standup meeting becomes routine, people's updates either become repetitive or they go into way more detail than anyone needs and everyone is pretty checked out.

Any suggestions on how you keep standup valuable on your team, and make sure it is fulfilling it's original purpose?

Discussion

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One simple thing we did was change the standard questions of "what you worked on yesterday", "what you are working on today", and "what are your blockers?". As you mentioned, it was a stale routine and statuses varied. Blockers were rarely or never mentioned. I think the word "blocker" has a negative connotation to it so it can be uncomfortable to mention it when everyone is staring at you.

My feedback to my team was that I don't care what you worked on or what you are going to work on today. This was not meant in a harsh way, but knowing what someone is working on did not seem to help the team in any way. What I do care about is what I can do to help the team make progress. That doesn't need to be a "blocker", it can be something less significant like getting something reviewed or having a quick chat about something.

We changed the question to "what do you need from the team? If nothing, what can you help with?" and that seems to be working much better.