The daily standup has become a routine in the lives of many people in software development.
78% of all agile teams hold daily standups, according to the 2011 State of Agile Development Survey from VersionOne.
Each day, at a specific time, teams gather around the task board and plan their next actions. Although this practice has been around for many years, it still feels awkward to some extent. Especially for the Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Should we also explain what we have done and are planning to do next? Won’t this bore the team? Do I just stand there, and listen?
I’ve been in both roles before and will explain how I took part in the daily standup.
As a Scrum Master…
… I always prepare myself for 5 minutes before the daily standup.
- What have I done that is useful information for the team?
- What am I planning to do that is useful for the team to know?
- What does the task board look like? Any bottlenecks appearing?
- Are there any tasks that are left aside? How can I help to get those moving?
- Any user stories coming up that need special attention?
- How are we respecting quality?
- Is the preparation of the next sprint coming along? Does the Product Owner need any help?
As a Scrum Master you will always have something useful to say. It can be related to your role, but in many cases you will share an observation about the process. In the end, that’s your job. Helping the team to use the process in their advantage and deliver succesful sprints.
As a Product Owner…
… I also prepare myself before the daily standup.
- Do I have any additional information that is applicable to the current sprint?
- What kind of features am I preparing for next sprint? For which ones would I like feedback from the team (outside of the daily standup)?
- Any feedback of the stakeholders that’s interesting for the team?
- Is the team respecting the user story prioritization? If not, I explain why it’s important to me.
- Am I out of the office? If so, I explain when and how the team can contact me.
- Are there any user stories I can already review? Ask for help.
As a Product Owner you will always have something interesting to share about the features. Those in the sprint, or those you are preparing for the next one. Remember that you are the Single Point of Contact for the team, and most of the feedback they hear from the stakeholders is through you. So share as much as possible.
I’ve noticed that as a Scrum Master or Product Owner, you can also bring a lot of added value during the daily standup. It shouldn’t only be the developers talking.