Standup Is About Commitment, Not About “Giving Status”

Caroline Sauve is an agile coach from Canada.  I have had the pleasure of interacting with, teaching, and learning from Caroline in the Coaching Agile Teams class and at Agile Coach Camp Canada.  Caroline blogs at agile meditation.  She starts this blog post with a thank you to me.  I gratefully accept your appreciation, Caroline, and am happy to be colleagues.  Here's Caroline:

Standup Is About Commitment, Not About "Giving Status"

One of the many moments of clarity that I’ve had thanks to Lyssa Adkins (Twitter: @lyssaadkins) is the goal behind the Standup meeting.

Standup is about commitment, not about “giving status”.

Armed with this new understanding, I facilitated a Standup meeting “reboot experiment” with my team. We started by talking about what wasn’t working with this meeting and then worked together to develop some new guidelines centered around the idea of commitment.

Now, during Standup…

We each take a turn to express what we will commit to completing between this meeting and the next.

When we aren’t speaking, we commit to listening fully to the person speaking.

We will speak up if we have information that would help the person speaking meet their commitment. Creating this connection is important… but having the full conversation may not…  so we commit to identifying side conversations when they happen.

We are committed to keeping the information shared relevant for all. We ask questions if a team member’s commitment is unclear.

We regularly check-in on the value and relevance of the meeting and re-commit as needed.

It’s worth noting that we don’t generally discuss “blockers” here, mostly because the team is empowered to seek help if they encounter an impediment rather than wait for a meeting. We also don’t generally talk about what we did in the past unless we feel it to be relevant information for the team.

Could your Standup meeting do with a little more commitment?

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This post originally appeared on agile meditation in July 2013.  Thanks, Caroline, for contributing it!