Agile, Communication, Improvement, Meetings, Scrum

Use Daily Stand Ups to Frame and Track Your Intent Every Day

I’ve written before about why daily stand ups generally don’t work, but I wanted to offer just a small change that will see a big impact on the effectiveness of the stand up far beyond the 10 minutes you spend talking about your work.

Usually, you answer three questions

  • What did I do yesterday
  • What will I do today
  • What is in my way

Or, as described in the offical Scrum Guide

What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal

What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?

Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?

These are fine questions if all you want are facts, but if you want constant introspection, you can go much further with only a small change.

Make your daily stands more engaging and influential beyond the 10 minutes you spend talking

Instead, try these questions

  • What did I do yesterday compared to my intent
  • What happened that stopped me meeting my intent
  • What is my intention today
  • Why might I not realise it

This does two things

  • It focuses on daily retrospection of your ability to meet the goals you set yourself and the team only 24 hours ago
  • It focuses the morning meeting on goals for the day, rather than specific individual tasks, constantly framing the work in a bigger picture than just working through A,B and then C

By doing this, you will constantly pick up on the issues getting in your way, rather than focusing on what you think will get in your way.

A small change, but you’ll see a big improvement in the way the team reviews its progress and tracks its ability to get things done. And many studies have shown that framing your intent daily, and reviewing that intent, has significant benefits for performance and effectiveness.

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