Leading daily standup meetings can be stressful. As a development lead, you’re probably working on several projects at the same time. You have to prepare for meetings and client calls. You have code reviews and PRs to get through. Deadlines are fast approaching, and management is asking for updates.
How can you best use the short time you have with your team during daily standups?
What is a daily standup?
Daily standups, or development standup meetings, are an important part of agile software development. The standup meeting should be between 15 and thirty minutes long. Certainly no longer than 30 minutes.
Originally, daily standups were meant to be held literally standing up. The team would meet standing up in the office hallway, atrium or common space, at the beginning of the day. Now in the age of remote work, when your team may be at their home office, a coffee shop or elsewhere, the term still stands (pardo the pun).
The goal of the daily standup is to share progress made on the project, decide on objectives and priorities for the coming day and also see if anyone on the team needs help.
Ask these six questions to make the most of your daily standups
What did you work on yesterday?
Find out what the team worked on the prior day. Did the team complete the tasks from yesterday, or are they still working on something? Is there a challenging section of code that is holding them up?
What are you working on today?
With your knowledge of the prior day, ask your team what they will work on next, during the day. Stay focused and only discuss the tasks, tickets and code the team will work on during that day.
What can you complete today?
Ask about specific functions, tasks or tickets your team thinks they can complete during the day. If the team reports that they will need more time to complete tasks, that’s fine too. Take notes and follow up during the next standup.
What’s the most important thing we should talk about today?
The goal of this question is to surface specific questions or concerns your team is facing. Is there an upcoming feature or release that needs special collaboration? If the team has questions or needs direction, you’ll find out here.
Are there any blockers or risks to your work?
This question helps you identify if the project timeline, or current sprint, will be at risk. Here you will be able to identify issues before they grow into big problems. If your team is struggling with a feature or difficult code section, fix it sooner rather than later.
Do you need any support or help from me?
If your team brought up blockers or risks to their tasks, discuss those here. As development lead, you can set the direction, provide help and step in when needed.
The daily standup is meant to be a short meeting at the start of each day. As a development lead, use these six questions to review progress made by your team, identify potential issues and set the course for a successful project delivery.
Don’t get bogged down in long term goals or the big picture. You can discuss big picture and overall sprint progress at a weekly meeting. Keep your standup meetings short and simple.
What is the team working on? Did they get it done? What can be done during the day?
For more on software development and web development from ComputerKick, click through to our blog! If you think I missed an important question for standup meetings, send me a message on LinkedIn. Thanks for reading.