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The Daily Pre-Standup

Reading: The Daily Pre-Standup

If you don’t find your standup effective, it may be due to a lack of proper preparation. Mike wrote a nice article on the daily stand-up meeting and why it probably isn’t effective for you. Once you’ve mastered those tips, consider your prep. Here’s small subset of things I consider before each standup. This varies by situation.

  • Are all the stories in the right state on the card wall (or in the tool)?
  • What is blocked?
  • Is there a bottleneck?
  • Has anyone pulled a new story into the iteration? Was it done without permission of the whole team and Product Owner?
  • Are any stories lacking only Product Owner acceptance? If so, can I push them through?
  • What is closest to being done? Do I need to encourage the team to swarm on that?
  • Are the done stories ready for the demo? Who is going to do the demo and are they ready?
  • Look at the burndown and Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD). How close are we to the end of the sprint? How much work remains? What action do I need to take, if any, based on what I see?
  • Where are we in the release (i.e. if not deploying continuously)?
  • Do I know who is working on each task? Can I tell?
  • Do I know who is working on no task? Who is idle?
  • Is the build broken?
  • Do I need to remind anyone of anything, such as an upcoming backlog refinement meeting?
  • Given all that I learned in my preparation, what approach to today’s standup would be most effective?

Why do I do this before the standup? Why not do get these questions answered during? Because I want to know what is knowable from simply looking at the information radiators before the standup so that I can focus in the standup on what’s not knowable from the radiators.

Who should do this? The ScrumMaster and coach definitely should. I think everyone should.

Let me hear from you: Post in the comments what you consider when you prep for the stand-up.

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