15 Stand-up commitments to a greater Scrum

27 Apr, 2007
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15 Stand-up commitments for those crucial 15 minutes

It is another great day, sun shining bright, traffic snarls continuing on roads, the team getting ready for another productive agile day with droopy faces! Droopy faces , why ???
Well because they have to get over the stand-up ritual first before they can get started with some real work.
But is the stand up a ritual??? Aren’t stand-ups supposed to be exciting and energizing???
If this a common question disturbing you for a while then it is time to stand up for the stand-up. The details that follow are meant for any team practicing any Agile methodology like Scrum and who has started thinking that stand-ups are no more than an empty ritual which has to be pushed out at the start of the day.

If you are a stand up team member a.k.a pig then you must commit to the list below to make sure that you do your part for a successful stand-up. If you are not a stand up team member a.k.a chicken then the list below would let you know what not to do and what to expect.
Say aloud, I am committed to the success of the project and I make the following commitments

  1. I commit to make sure that the stand up is a lively huddle and not a formal status meeting.
  2. I commit never to say that “I do not remember what I did yesterday” nor “I am not sure what I would do today”, I shall come prepared with my points for the stand up on a post it or in my notebook after looking at the Sprint Backlog or the story board.
  3. I commit to focus on the sprint backlog during stand up, it is easy to wander in all directions during the stand up but I commit to bring the team back to the backlog.
  4. I commit to raise impediments and blocking issues, ensure that the impediments are added to the impediment list and are taken care of in a timely fashion, this might require my taking initiative to point the impediments to the scrum master.
  5. I commit that I would attentively listen to what everyone has to say and not just listen to the person standing next to me just before my turn.
  6. I commit that on hearing an issue to which I know the solution I would not resort to problem solving, I would state that I know of a possible solution which we can discuss after the stand up.
  7. I commit that I shall not address my points to the scrum master but would talk to the whole team, since I am not reporting my status but I am stating facts and commitments to my team.
  8. I commit that I would not use the stand-up for socializing even though I or a team member came back from an exotic vacation.
  9. I commit that I would be loud and clear with my information so that everyone can listen and high energy is maintained.
  10. I commit that keeping the length of meeting in mind, my information in a stand up would be to the point but still informative enough, I would not just say that I am working on issue number x but would also give a brief description of what it is about.
  11. I commit that if I am in a distributed stand-up across continents, I would make sure that the tools and machines used for stand-up are ready before the stand-up starts.
  12. I commit that if I cannot come to a stand-up I would make sure that my input information is sent or announced via an email or a telephone call with a colleague.
  13. I commit that I would not delay a stand-up because it is not just my time but the entire teams time.
  14. I commit to be involved only if I am committed to the project else I would just observe and not interrupt / disrupt the proceedings.
  15. Last but not the least I commit that whenever I see a deviation from these commitments from anybody I would openly debate that and initiate corrective action.

Conclusion: The daily stand-up meeting is meant to be an opportunity for the team members to communicate to the team on their progress and obstacles. It is an opportunity to share commitment and set direction for the team. Most of all it is a medium to build a closely knit team. Let us commit to the power of this simple opportunity and stand up for stand-ups.


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