If you work as a software developer, you have probably participated in a daily meeting, daily scrum, or stand-up meeting (although this name lost sense during the pandemic since we’re all sitting in front of our computers).
This meeting is one of the most common ceremonies of agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban, and people usually answer these questions:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What are you going to do today?
- Is there / was there an impediment in your path?
The purpose is to be a daily “pulse” of the project’s progress, and when well applied, it is crucial for the team.
In the last few years, I have been using a slightly different format that has brought good results. The main difference is that instead of focusing on people, the meeting focuses on work in progress. It works more or less as follows:
- during the meeting, via Zoom or Google Meet, we open the task board in a shared window;
- the person who is coordinating the meeting looks at the item that is closest to the “Done” column (or Ready, or In production, etc.) and asks: “team, what’s left to move this task to the next stage?”
- the people who are working on the task say what is the current stage of work, if they are facing any impediment or if they need any help;
- other people can offer to help by doing pair programming or clarifying something;
- if the task needs any help or clarification, the people involved agree to talk after the meeting;
- And the process moves on to the following columns, always from right to left.
One of the advantages of this format is that the meeting is much faster and more attractive. That’s because we are discussing the work in progress and not what a particular person did or did not do the day before. In the past, I attend some meetings where someone was embarrassed while commenting that the previous day wasn’t so productive because of some personal problem.
I’ve been using this format of meetings in teams of five, six people, and in the vast majority of times, we managed to finish before the 15 minutes desired by the traditional model. And as a result, everyone is engaged in collaborating to complete the tasks, and the development flow evolves quickly.
What do you think of this format? Have you used something similar in your teams? Share your opinions and experiences here in the comments.