How to do your daily stand ups with a distributed team

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 06/11/2015 - 12:00

With an agile team you should meet daily for a quick meeting. Normally that takes the form of each person answering a three question status update (What did I achieve, what will I achieve, what is blocking me). For a team working together it means these steps:

  1. Team arrives at the shared team board
  2. Team goes round and gives status update
  3. Team goes back to work

Just because your team is distributed doesn’t mean this shouldn’t happen – it just means that you’ll find a few extra steps:

  1. Team members who work together go to booked meeting room (you need a meeting room so those remote can hear over the normal work environment noise)
  2. Be surprised to find some one in the room
  3. Explain that you booked the room
  4. Wait for them to leave the room
  5. Connect the projector
  6. Realise you left your microphone in your laptop bag, return to desk get it, return to meeting room
  7. Plug it in
  8. Open the digital scrum board
  9. Start meeting software and join meeting
  10. See one remote team member is already there – apologise for being late
  11. wait for response
  12. wait for response
  13. realise they can’t hear you.
  14. Both the remote team member and yourself try to figure out what is not working
  15. Figure out that there is a mute hardware button that today (and today only) is turned itself on
  16. Try again – success, they can hear you
  17. Wait for the product owner to join.
  18. Give up waiting and kick off meeting (everyone is seated now cause no ones legs last that long)
  19. Go around the team and give status update
  20. Product owner joins during second last team members status update
  21. Product owner starts sharing a bunch of bugs and task updates that someone else is now capturing live
  22. Finish status updates
  23. Team decides to use this time that we are all here to discuss technical info around the new stuff from the product owner
  24. Product owner is late for meeting and has to disconnect
  25. Someone walks into the meeting room and asks if this is the meeting for organising the year end party
  26. silence
  27. No one answers
  28. silence
  29. Scrum master answers
  30. Team discusses technical issues. Half are marked as needing more info and will be discussed with product owner in tomorrows meeting
  31. Call ends
  32. Team goes to get coffee (they need it) and says how glad they are using agile cause they save so much time with less meetings
  33. two hours later
  34. other team member joins call alone because the time zone he is in changed to daylight savings today

Repeat daily