I was introduced to the concept of Agile or more importantly Scrum in 2010. Since then I have worked with myriad of teams and all kinds of derivations of Agile. Staying true to myself I have learnt the theory that governs it and also got myself Scrum certified.
Stand-ups are ubiquitous, rightfully so. It is the most prolific form of communication which brings people together and in theory puts everyone on the same page. In the era of dispersed working stand-ups provide a platform for a quick catch-up.
Over the years stand-ups have stood out as the most easiest to execute ceremonies but the most painfully executed.
Hence the dichotomy.
In an agile world, stand-up is driven by the work you committed to do in a sprint.
Simply put : what I did yesterday? What I plan to do today? Are there any blockers? — in tandem with the stories.
Stand-up are also used as a quick check-in to shed light on the melange of work team members do.
But I have heard sob stories and have myself dreaded everyday stand-ups at times.
It is important to foster a culture where everyone knows this forum is for us to share. If you do not have anything to update it is ok. It does not mean you were dwindling your thumbs, it just means you are on track and there isn’t any dramatic deviation worth highlighting. This needs to be assimilated in the culture within the team.
When the team members dread attending a stand-up, they end up talking in circles at length to demonstrate their value add. Especially when there are daily stand-ups we need to be mindful that daily work is incremental not exponential.
How do we achieve this?
Stick to the theory in this case. There are enough articles articulating how it should be done.
Stick to the 3 questions. And if there is nothing to update, make that cool.
People will appreciate it and not dread it.