Mastering Standup Meeting

Updated: Jan 17

Part 1 -- Basic Rules

Standup meetings are the most frequently conducted among the four Scrum activities and the easiest to get started. From today, let’s talk in detail about how the standup meeting will be held.

First, let me introduce the three Ground Rules of stand-up.

1. Held Every Day

The Scrum team can set a time that everyone agrees. It has to be held every day and everyone needs to speak as much as possible.

The agenda of the meeting? There is no agenda. Each speaker tries to focus on the following three questions:

・Yesterday I helped the team do...

・Today I plan to help the team do...

・I have encountered...difficulty, need...

Note: Except for the necessary explanation, don’t involve too many details, just let everyone know what it is. Try to limit your speech to 1-2 minutes.

2. 15 Mins

The whole standup meeting takes no more than 15 minutes.

Note: In the whole process of Scrum, we can find that many activities have fixed time limits, such as 15 minutes of standup meeting, 2 hours of Planning Game, 2 weeks of Sprint cycle. This time limit is called “time box”.

You can regard it as a rigid box (iron box), which can neither be compressed nor expanded. When the time comes, it will be closed. That is, the corresponding activity should end immediately when the preset time is reached: the stand-up meeting should end immediately after 15 minutes.

“How to deal with the unfinished activities?” “It’s over, too. Remember? It’s a rigid box.”

“So why is there such a limit?” “Good questions, write them down in a small notebook, and I’ll answer them later.”

If you are curious about it, you can compare the “tomato working method” with it by Google. The operation mode is similar.

3. The Principle of Chicken and Pig

This is a very popular story in the West. Let me make a brief introduction.

The Principle of Chicken and Pig

Keywords: Principle, StandupMeeting, IT, Scrum, Team, Question, TeamManagement, TomatoWorkingMethod, Activity, Transparent, Role, ScrumMaster, SprintCycle, Agile, PMP

Chicken and pig are good friends, and they hang out all day. Inspired by the “national entrepreneurship” policy and the success of many entrepreneurs, they thought: we also want to start a business, we also want to succeed! So what is a good project to do? Food is the first necessity of the people. They decided to open a restaurant, focusing on the following products:

Egg ham sandwich.

What does chicken contribute to the company’s flagship product? Egg. There is no harm to the chicken, in a sense, it is also good for its health. What does the pig contribute? Meat. Take a big knife and hit it on his leg. Without considering whether the company could go public, one of the founders would die after the store opened for a month or two.

This is the end of the story. In fact, it describes two kinds of roles. One role is chicken, which is related to this matter, but not so much; the other role is a pig, which is closely related to this matter.

At the stand-up meeting, what does the principle of chicken and pig mean? It means that only the “pig” can speak at the stand-up meeting, and the “chicken” should shut up. In other words, in the Scrum team, the “pig” can speak, and anyone else participating in the meeting is a “chicken” who has no right to speak.

This story shows the difference between Eastern and Western cultures. In the east, it seems a bit awkward to use these two animals to describe themselves.

Let’s talk about why there is this principle. It comes from the author’s personal experience- There are many bosses who think that the stand-up meeting is fun, and they want to participate in it. I usually persuade them to abide by the “chicken and pig principle”-you can attend the meeting, but you are a “chicken” and cannot speak.

Scrum is a very transparent and open working method, and any role outside the team is welcome to participate in any activity. However, the standup meeting is an occasion for the Scrum team to fully communicate the progress of the project. If there is a bigwig to speak, some people will not dare to fully speak and discuss because of his high position, and the station meeting can not fully exchange the latest information. So this principle is crucial.

You can imagine the scene when I persuade the CTO of the company to participate in the standup meeting to abide by this principle. It is not easy for every Scrum Master.

These are the principles that need to be followed in standup meetings.

In summary, this article, as the first one of the Mastering Standup Meeting,

mainly introduces the three principles of holding standup meetings.

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