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Stand up; one minute each. Activity since last Sprint, to next Sprint, blockers? In, out, no messing, job done. Discussions may follow, but its not part of the ceremony. Right?

Well, kind of.

As with most things Agile, I like to take a broader view.

I’m working with a relatively small team of three, two of who are part-time; so not what you’d call a standard agile set up. Whilst they work closely for the time they are together, there are times when one may be working alone.

The standup therefore is sometimes the first time they’ve seen each other for a day, so the restriction of three questions to answer is more than often ignored and replaced with a quick update peppered with a few “oh, I need your help with that” or “we need to discuss that a bit more.”

Its not that the team ignore the construct completely. It’s normally time-boxed. Well, when I say time-boxed, everyone gets two or three minutes, and if there is more detail then it’s normally parked until the standup is over. If the conversation goes on too long all it takes is a simple glance or nod in the direction of the next person for the speaker to realize its time to move on.

There’s an added advantage for me that I get to hear some of the detail that I wouldn’t get if we stick to the standard approach. Important since I’m also part-time and whilst I don’t need to get all of the detail, watching the team dynamics every day for slightly longer that I would normally gives me a great perspective on the team.

Worst case, 15 minutes. Time well spent and everyone back up to speed.

Geoff

#backofthepack

Image thanks to the awesomeness that is Adam Ant

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