Leo Kyrpychenko

@distributedleo

14 ways to improve standup

Standup — so simple and so important
  1. Know what you are talking about and especially what you are NOT talking. For instance, write on a whiteboard near your standup area points you’d love everybody to address and the rest should be taken offline.
  2. Everybody should talk in the order of importance for the team. Imagine if you may be interrupted any second and you won’t have a chance to continue.
  3. Timebox everybody. A little of time pressure didn’t heart anybody.
  4. Use an artefact that is passed randomly between team members to bring randomness into standup to make everybody pay more attention. I like a little guitar.
  5. Make standup completely asynchronous and let everybody record a video, do remember about point 2 above.
  6. If you are part of a distributed team or some of your team members occasionally remote, invest in the high-quality equipment like a microphone and a web camera.
  7. Gamify standups and give points for a useful update. Make a leader-board and give away prizes quarterly. Penalize for checking a mobile during the standup as well :)
  8. Incorporate feedback loop, so team members can easily provide constructive feedback about updates of others. As usual, it should be timely and clear to the point, but not offensive in any way.
  9. Plank during standup. I am sure you will be faster and fitter.
  10. Don’t do it daily. 2 or 3 days per week may do it for your team.
  11. Do standup twice a day if you have team distributed across different time zones and want to sync everybody.
  12. Use a Jira, Github or Trello board to visualize your standup, but I am against it because everybody can check the board anytime and it only distracts from the standup itself.
  13. Make a small training boot camp (training session) on how to lead an effective standup.
  14. Automate standup and let tools you use to do it for you. Most of your updates can be retrieved from services you use for project management, code management, build and deployment systems.

You can mix above points to improve your standup.

Feel free to provide your ways to improve standup in the comments below. And don’t forget to applaud ;)

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