Keeping standups smelling nice

My team has recently grown much bigger. I decided we needed to make sure our daily standup stays productive and happy and smell-free.
 
Stinky cheese

Actually I quite like the smell of stinky cheese. Mmm, cheese.

There’s loads of reading to be done on how to do this – just google “scrum smells”. Here’s my advice. I’m pleased to say my team is doing most of this pretty well. I’ve been in some horrific standups in my day, so I’m pleased to see it working well, and I’d like to keep it that way.
 
My top points for avoiding a smelly standup:
 
1) Don’t talk to the Scrum Master!
 
He doesn’t care. Well, he does, but this isn’t a report to Sir. It’s an update to the team. If only the Scrum Master is interested, tell him afterwards. If what you’re saying isn’t of interest to the team, stop talking.
 
Practice making eye contact with team members. They’re nice people! Probably.
 
2) Listen.
 
Following on from the above – when someone’s talking, it’s for your benefit. Make an effort to understand how it fits in with your work.
If it’s about “server stuff”, this is a great time to learn about server stuff; you might be working on it next week.
 
3) Stay concise.
 
My team is good at this, actually. But it’s easy to ramble off the track. We have to remember that it’s an update, not a problem-solving session. We’re lucky enough to be co-located, so we can easily carry on a technical conversation after the standup’s done.
 
4) Be prepared.
 
If nothing else, check the scrum board five minutes beforehand and make sure you know which tasks you’ve been working on, and what you could pick up next.
 
If the tasks don’t match reality, change them, either before or after the standup. Adjust estimates. Add new tasks. Check with someone before making big changes, but the board should update reality as far as possible.
 
If you’re going to miss a standup, tell someone on the team what you’ve been doing, so they can speak in your stead.
 
5) Everything else.
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About north5

Software developer, larper, father.
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