March 21

Stand-ups — Best Practices, Common Pitfalls & Should You Even be Involved?

5 Scrum Meeting Best Practices: Master the Daily Stand-Up. Stand-ups, alternatively known in agile development as Scrum Meetings, can be powerful if done properly. Fortunately there are relatively simple rules for being successful. Michael Lun outlines these which include sticking to three questions — what has been accomplished, what will be worked on and what is blocking you from doing your job. He also lists some common pitfalls including letting people ramble and allowing the Stand-Up become a planning session.

How to get the most out of Stand-Up Meetings. There are also several tools you can use to make your Stand-ups more efficient. Thomas Schranz names a few, the first of which may be the most important — the use of a Kanban Board. This board will often visually answer the three questions above allowing the individual updates to move along quicker. Not in the same room (or maybe country) as your team? Not a problem these days with services like Slack and video conferencing.

Why your daily standup sucks (and how to fix it). Looking at worst case scenarios will help you recognize Stand-up killers quickly. According to Jared Carroll, there are many common pitfalls including overcomplicating the discussion, delving into problem-solving (which should be done ‘offline’ after), starting too late and over-relying on software tools.

Is the Product Owner allowed to be at the Daily Scrum event? A big question, as a product person, is whether you are even allowed to participate in a Stand-up. Some argue, as you’ll see in this discussion, that Stand-ups are the domain of the engineers and a product person will not contribute positively to the group. But others argue that it’s essential that the product person participates. How much they should participate is another question — perhaps it’s enough to be a fly on the wall to learn how a project is progressing.

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 20 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on in the exclusive Member Hub, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly newsletters that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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