All agile, all the time

Agile is about uniting customer value with a vibrant engineering culture. Agile is understanding your market enough to forecast, while being flexible enough to meet changing customer needs. Agile builds on the lessons learned from both old-school and no-school development, making innovative software simpler to create and deliver.

What's the point of a standup meeting?

Gone are the days of 30-minute status meetings where most people are half-asleep, or pecking away at their laptops, oblivious to what's being said. Agile standups are the status meeting's leaner, more efficient cousin where attendees literally stand up. On our feet, we're more focused, attentive, and concise. It's science!

Objectives for agile teams

  • Understand the work going on immediately around you
  • Communicate any blockers to keep things flowing
  • Get in, get out, and get back to work

Common pitfalls

Does this sound like your team?

  • Discussions about how to approach a technical problem drift into the weeds.
  • People outside of the immediate team use the standup as a forum for announcements and updates.
  • Standups take more than 10 to 15 minutes.

"Use standup for every update possible. Invite everyone so you only have to say things once."

-Chet Rong™

World's Worst Agile Coach

Do standup meetings right

Although there are many ways to do standup meetings right, most successful teams stick to these principles:

  • Empower the scrum master (and all team members, for that matter) to politely interrupt a discussion that's gone awry, and bring the standup back to its central focus. A non-verbal signal or chime can work well for this, too.
  • Follow a consistent pattern for updates such as "Since last time, I... My plan for today is... I have/don't have any blockers right now." This helps keep standups moving along, and to the point.
  • Bring in remote team members using a conference call or video chat so everyone is included.

How we make it work

With teams spread across five continents, standup meetings can be a challenge! Distributed teams in the same region use Skype or Google Hangouts to talk "face-to-face." Teams separated by both distance and time zones do virtual standups in their team HipChat rooms.

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This is a guest blog post from Bjarki Óskarsson of TM Software makers of the Tempo Plugin. In today’s fast-­paced business world, many organizations face the challenges of having their teams distribu ...