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Is this the right way to update status in Daily Standup Meetings?

 
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Junilu Lacar wrote:making sure that team members are not doing any "hidden" work that's not related to the sprint goals.


I can understand. This hidden work can be for some reason and causes problem in communicating during the meetings as it is not tracked.

In one of the companies that I worked in, developers used to sometimes do hot fixes in production when they used to come to know that their code is not running correctly. Fearing that if they inform about this it would not look nice , they used to silently do hot fix. As a result new time stamp used to show up on the jar file. The team leader used to ask if anyone is fixing issues silently. This also is a kind of hidden work. Bad practice ofcourse.


 
Satyaprakash Joshii
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Junilu Lacar wrote:An astute Scrum Master can point out when code reviews are happening later than when they are most effective, which is what typically happens when teams don't collaborate and do things like TDD/BDD. The Scrum Master can point out these types of waste and coach the team or find a coach to help them adopt TDD/BDD and other practices that make code reviews more timely and effective.



Yes. I understand.  I think also there may be time when scrum master would help a developer decide on the priority in case he has multiple things at one time.
 
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Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote: and make adjustments as needed.


Adjustments like ?


  • I said I was going to write a helper method yesterday. It turned out to take all day.
  • The internet was out for 5 hours yesterday
  • That task I thought was going to take days turned out to be trivial and was done in an hour
  • Fred got a bad case of COVID-19 on day two of the sprint and will be out the rest of the sprint at a minimum


  • The first two mean I'm not going to get as much work done as I hoped. However, the team can probably adjust and meet the sprint goal (if nothing else goes wrong.) The third is great as it means I can help others who did not have such good luck. The last one means we are going to need to talk to the product owner (and possibly others) to re-adjust expectations. Ideally the work was properly prioritized and we can "just" chop off the bottom of the backlog from the sprint. But we might have to adjust the sprint goal. Or even replan the sprint.
     
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Junilu Lacar wrote:An astute Scrum Master can point out when code reviews are happening later than when they are most effective, which is what typically happens when teams don't collaborate and do things like TDD/BDD. The Scrum Master can point out these types of waste and coach the team or find a coach to help them adopt TDD/BDD and other practices that make code reviews more timely and effective.



    Yes. I understand.  I think also there may be time when scrum master would help a developer decide on the priority in case he has multiple things at one time.


    Ideally the team was all paying attention to the prioritized work order and everyone knows the priorities. However in reality, people do need coaching on this. Partially to NOT do multiple things at once. But also partially to identify bottlenecks. Sometimes the SM is the one to note that Sally is waiting on Katie to give her some information to unblock a task. And if the SM is doing well, he/she has trained the team to notice these things as well.

    I notice on my team that sometimes we have *too many* people trying to help by pointing out this stuff at once.
     
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I invest in coaching new people on how to communicate better.



    Could you please share what communicate better means to you. Hearing this from you would be valuable.



    Sure. Some examples

  • "Yesterday I started coding the rest api and today I plan to continue to rest api." So... you did work? That conveys nothing.
  • It's done, except... - so it's NOT in fact done. If there's a but/except, that means it isn't done
  • People obviously not paying attention - this is harder to do remotely
  •  
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Thank You

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • "Yesterday I started coding the rest api and today I plan to continue to rest api." So... you did work? That conveys nothing.



  • Instead of this is it better to say as Yesterday, I created application for REST APIs and added controller class. Today, I will add the implementation for methods in the controller?
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • It's done, except... - so it's NOT in fact done. If there's a but/except, that means it isn't done


  • When something is almost complete , is it acceptable to say ..I have done a,b,c,d,e and once f is done, this user story will be complete.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • People obviously not paying attention - this is harder to do remotely


  • I have seen this practically happening. why because developers are consolidating thoughts in their mind for the time when their turn comes to speak.Not just developers any humans if they are to speak one by one on any simple thing when their turn comes, focus on consolidating their thoughts and lose focus of what others are speaking.It happens with me too to some extent.
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:Thank You

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • "Yesterday I started coding the rest api and today I plan to continue to rest api." So... you did work? That conveys nothing.



  • Instead of this is it better to say as Yesterday, I created application for REST APIs and added controller class. Today, I will add the implementation for methods in the controller?


    Yes. That shows what is actually done and can be relied on. It also communicates more.

    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • It's done, except... - so it's NOT in fact done. If there's a but/except, that means it isn't done


  • When something is almost complete , is it acceptable to say ..I have done a,b,c,d,e and once f is done, this user story will be complete.


    Yes! That is far more useful. It's the same info but doesn't let people anchor on "done" before something is actually done.

    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

  • People obviously not paying attention - this is harder to do remotely


  • I have seen this practically happening. why because developers are consolidating thoughts in their mind for the time when their turn comes to speak.Not just developers any humans if they are to speak one by one on any simple thing when their turn comes, focus on consolidating their thoughts and lose focus of what others are speaking.It happens with me too to some extent.


    Tip. Write down what you want to say. On a post it in person or in notepad on your computer. Then you don't have to worry about forgetting it and can focus on your teammates
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    Tip. Write down what you want to say. On a post it in person or in notepad on your computer. Then you don't have to worry about forgetting it and can focus on your teammates



    I have been doing it on notepad. Since , now throught this thread I have learnt that daily stand up is for the team  I willl push myself a bit to listen to what other teammates talk while also focusing on what I have to say.

    It is not just about focus but sometimes people get into a mindset that all one is doing is wait for our turn. Not just with developers ,I think that's human tendency.
    That mindset has to change.
     
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    One example of coaching on better communication is simply to promote face-to-face or direct conversation instead of email or documentation. Another way is to coach people on what a user story really is about: it's about communicating or as Jeff Patton would say, "Stories get their name from how they are used and nor how they are written." In other words, you tell a User Story and talk about it with each other until you all have a shared understanding. Good communication results in shared understanding. Poor communication results in misunderstanding.
     
    Junilu Lacar
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:It is not just about focus but sometimes people get into a mindset that all one is doing is wait for our turn. Not just with developers ,I think that's human tendency.
    That mindset has to change.


    Not just the mindset but the team dynamics. To me, what you describe indicates that you don't really have a "team" -- you have individuals working independently who are uninterested and/or not invested in what other people in the group are doing. Again, that's not a team. A team helps each other. A team is invested in what each member is doing. When people are invested, they listen intently to what others have to say. When you know others are invested, you say things that you know are interesting to others. When all you have to say is only relevant to you and perhaps to the Scrum Master, then you're back to just giving a status. This is best done as an email, not as a meeting.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Through this thread I came to know that this is something I have been doing fundamentally wrong all time time over the years in meetings like daily standup by not paying attention to what others are discussing during their turn. For this one has to also overcome one human tendency. If 5 humans are to speak one by one on some very simple thing still they will have tendency to focus and gather thoughts on how to speak on the matter they are to speak. Writing a line on notepad about it helps and also one has to push oneself that it is also important to listen when others are speaking in their turn. It will come better by practice and habbit.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Sometimes the SM is the one to note that Sally is waiting on Katie to give her some information to unblock a task.



    Yes. Although SM would help do this, Sallly should also consider it as her responsibility to speak up if she is waiting for something from Katie.
     
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    Junilu Lacar wrote:it's not a status meeting, it's a planning meeting. The team should come away from the standup with a clear idea of what they're going to do for the rest of the day.



    In that case instead of saying what one plans to do today,  should one say how one plans to do that today ?
     
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:In that case instead of saying what one plans to do today,  should one say how one plans to do that today ?



    Of course that depends on what it is you plan to do today. What you say about that should provide the team with an understanding of your plan, that's all that can be said. Could I suggest you come up with some examples to clarify my "It Depends" answer?
     
    Junilu Lacar
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    Maybe it's just better to give an example. Let's say there's a small team with Jim, Mukesh, Beth, Tim, and Min. Carrie is the Scrum Master. Let's say they are using a traditional physical sprint board with story cards moving across the board as work on them progresses.

    At the agreed-upon time, everybody promptly gathers around the board and somebody says "Ok, I'll get us started." Let's say that was Tim who got the ball rolling.

    Tim: Yesterday, Beth and I paired up to get this story done; I've already moved it over (points to the story card in the Done column). Since we got done early yesterday, we started on this other story (points to another card in the Doing column) which we've also already moved over. Beth are you still up for pairing this morning? I know we left a test still red yesterday so it would be great if we could get that to green and then refactor. If you need to do other stuff after that, that's fine but I'll need somebody to pair with me for the rest of the day.

    Beth: Sure, I can help you finish the scenario we started but I want to get back to working this other story as well so you'll have to find somebody else to pair with after that. Any volunteers?

    Mukesh: Yeah, I can pair up with Tim on that. That'll be good for me because it's related to this other story that I want to pick up next. Tim, I'll mob with you and Beth as you finish up that red test. That will give me a chance to come up to speed a little bit with what you've been doing so far. I can pair with you for a good part of the afternoon today. If we get done early, maybe you can pair with me on this related story. We might need input from Min as well since she's worked on that part of the application the most. How about it, Min, can you mob with us later?

    Min: Sure. Just let me know when you're ready for me. In the meantime, Jim and I are going to finish up this other story we've been working on. We still need to write some integration tests for it. We also want to write a few tests to verify some of the UI-related changes we made.

    Mukesh: Ok. By the way, you'll need to get some feedback from our users if you made UI changes.

    Min: Yeah. Carrie, do you mind helping us schedule 30 minutes with Jeff and Maya later on so we can demo these UI changes to them? We'll probably be ready for them around 11:30am so anytime after that will be good.

    Carrie: Sure thing. I'll send out an invite in a little bit. Anything else?

    Mukesh: No, that's it for me.

    Min: No, that's was it for me, too.

    Jim: Nothing else from me. Min, once we're done with the tests, I'll leave it to you to demo to Jeff and Maya, if that's ok with you. I think I'll pair up with Beth on that story she's going to be working on later this morning.

    Beth: Thanks, Jim. In the meantime, I can work on some of the supplemental documentation and maybe review some of the Cucumber specs for this story, maybe draw out some preliminary tests and gather some mock data we can use.

    Jim: Sounds good. That's all for me today.

    Carrie: Ok, it looks like we all know what we're doing today. Just a reminder, we have our regular backlog refinement this afternoon at 4pm. If nobody else needs my help I think we're done for now. Have a good one!

    ======

    That is what a good standup would sound like to me.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Thank You. Also as shown in this example it doesn't necessarily be that one by one everyone has to speak on their turn.It can be random and dynamic as in this.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Junilu Lacar wrote: Good communication results in shared understanding. Poor communication results in misunderstanding.


    True.One of the benefits of good communication.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

    The first two mean I'm not going to get as much work done as I hoped. However, the team can probably adjust and meet the sprint goal (if nothing else goes wrong.)



    How would the team meet the sprint goal in such cases ?
     
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Sometimes the SM is the one to note that Sally is waiting on Katie to give her some information to unblock a task.



    Yes. Although SM would help do this, Sallly should also consider it as her responsibility to speak up if she is waiting for something from Katie.


    Of course. Hence the comment about coaching. Remember that even if someone does something well, it can often be done better. And many people don't do these things well because they spent years on traditional projects where they just had to give their status and not pay attention.

    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

    The first two mean I'm not going to get as much work done as I hoped. However, the team can probably adjust and meet the sprint goal (if nothing else goes wrong.)



    How would the team meet the sprint goal in such cases ?

    nThe first two were my smaller examples where it is possible to recover. The team (should) be calculating velocity based on past sprints and availability. On average, there's a certain amount that goes wrong each sprint. In particular, you shouldn't be planning to 100%. My team has a lot of variation because we are a DevOps team. What we do every sprint (at sprint planning) is identify some "below the line" tasks. These are the tasks that it would be nice if we get done but don't go against the sprint goal or commitment. If we have less user/prod support and/or tasks go smoothly, we do those. If not, no worries. That's our team deals with our reality. Other teams I'm sure have other approaches.

    What's not reasonable is a team that plans everyone to 100% capacity. That means it becomes impossible to recover from problems without working overtime. I'll let you guess what agile has to say about overtime
     
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:Thank You. Also as shown in this example it doesn't necessarily be that one by one everyone has to speak on their turn.It can be random and dynamic as in this.


    Notice also that the team members are talking to each other, not to the Scrum Master. When team members talk mainly to the Scrum Master, that's when the standup starts to become a status meeting. The team should only talk to the Scrum Master when they need something they can't handle themselves or if they need help doing something that would otherwise distract them from their main work.

    When the team members are talking mainly to the Scrum Master, the standup is really just the old Hub-and-Spoke structure with the SM playing the central (hub) role of the traditional Project Manager. Again, this is antithetical to the intent of the Scrum daily standup. In fact, when the Scrum Master notices that the team is starting to report status like that, he/she should be the one to remind them that they should be talking to each other instead.

    The SM should stay out of the way, mostly observing and listening, waiting for cues to step in and offer to help with an impediment that the team can't handle themselves. The SM is also looking for opportunities to coach the team on how to better coordinate their work or better communicate, or maybe ask powerful questions to help the team figure out the solution. The are many ways a Scrum Master can help during the standup without being the "hub" that everyone reports their status to.
     
    Junilu Lacar
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    Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:Thank You. Also as shown in this example it doesn't necessarily be that one by one everyone has to speak on their turn.It can be random and dynamic as in this.


    It's not even necessary for everyone to speak.

    It seems rather silly to me for Bob to say "Jim and I paired on that story yesterday. Sally said she wanted to pair up with me on this other user story today. Jim might want to mob with us on it, too." And then Jim says "Bob and I paired on a story yesterday and today I'm going to mob with Bob and Sally" and then Sally says "Yesterday I completed yada yada and today I'm going to work with Bob and Jim on that user story."

    If you think about it, why does each of them have to repeat the same information that the others have already communicated? Just so you can follow the format of "What I did yesterday, what I'm doing today, and what's getting in my way?" To me that's pretty ridiculous and mindless and frankly, just being intellectually lazy. We are developers, we're supposed to be smart and we should be better than that.

    A more sane way for the previous example to go would be something like Bob saying "Jim and I paired on that story yesterday. Today we'll get together with Sally to work on this other story. That's probably going to be what the three of us will be doing all day today." Then Sally would say, "Yes, I'm good for mobbing with you guys today since Myra and I already got that other story done yesterday."

    Note that Jim doesn't have to say anything if he has nothing to add to what has already been communicated by Bob.
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    I definitely agree with Junilu. That's why my team switched to story focused standups years ago. Keeps the emphasis on the work.

    On a slightly different topic, I saw this on twitter today and thought it was relevant to share  here


    (from twitter.)
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Something to think about (re talking to the SM.) What happens at standup if the SM isn't in attendance. He/she could be sick, in a training, in another meeting, whatever.

    On my team, the meeting is pretty much the same.The SM is doing value adds but not something essential to the meeting.

    What would be different on your team if the SM missed standup? Those are likely the things that are causing problems.
     
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    That's a good point there.
    The chap who is our (current) SM is just one of the team, and isn't always about (same as the rest of us).
    We don't actually notice him not being there, as him being the SM is a bit of an irrelevance when it comes to the stand up 90% of the time.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    I write a line or two on notepad on what I would speak on my turn and plan to listen to everyone during the daily stand up but practically when meeting starts I become nervous and focus to consolidate the thoughts on what I would speak and in this process end up listening lesser to what others speak. I need to put lot of  effort towards this area of being at easy and thus listening to what others are discussing without myself forgetting what I am to speak.
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    I wonder what about the standup makes it a nervous experience. It should be just as comfortable as talking to your teammates. And hopefully you aren't nervous with them when working on stuff.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I wonder what about the standup makes it a nervous experience. It should be just as comfortable as talking to your teammates. And hopefully you aren't nervous with them when working on stuff.



    Not just about standup, it's like a human tendency.If 5 people are told you will be speaking one by one on something as simple as what you ate last day then one or two of them start consolidating their thoughts in mind and focus on them during the time others are speaking.
    I think for beginning writing a line or two on notepad and also trying to keep yourself calm but later on it will come naturally and easily by practice.
     
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    For having a question mentioned in the January 2021 CodeRanch Journal, congratulations: this question earns you a cow
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Good to see.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    Tip. Write down what you want to say. On a post it in person or in notepad on your computer. Then you don't have to worry about forgetting it and can focus on your teammates



    What does post it in person mean ?

    With practice one gets better. One day I wrote a couple of lines on notepad and referred while speaking. Later I felt I should keep it written but try to speak without seeing and see only when required to refer. With practice it starts coming naturally.Also I take couple of deep breathes to remain calm and composed as I have seen team members who keep themselves calm and composed communicate better and clearly than the ones who get nervous. Also, I felt that even if you don't refer it , keeping couple of lines on notepad helps as it brings brewity in our thoughts and thus in the communication.
     
    Junilu Lacar
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    I think Jeanne meant that if you're in the standup meeting "in person" then you can write down some points you want to remember to talk about on a Post-It™ note. Otherwise if your standup is virtual and you're on a computer then put your notes in a text editor like Notepad.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    This way is good.Also if we write but don't even don't refer, it makes us talk clearly and to the point.
     
    Junilu Lacar
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    I dont know what kind of environment you work in that fosters that kind of fear but it's kind of sad to see. Talking during a standup should be no more nerve-racking than telling your mom what you did in school today. It should be perfectly relaxed, everyday conversation. Why such high anxiety on your part?
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    And if the anxiety is about speaking in general (vs the meeting), I recommend Toastmasters to get more comfortable presenting both formally and informally.
     
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    One should be confident.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:And if the anxiety is about speaking in general (vs the meeting), I recommend Toastmasters to get more comfortable presenting both formally and informally.



    Thank You.That way is good. Also, one can do some self practice too.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Junilu Lacar wrote: Talking during a standup should be no more nerve-racking than telling your mom what you did in school today



    Good example. I will try thinking this way.It would help.Thank You.
     
    Satyaprakash Joshii
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    Tip. Write down what you want to say. On a post it in person or in notepad on your computer. Then you don't have to worry about forgetting it and can focus on your teammates


    While this has been useful for me in multiple ways, I am thinking slowly I should build practice to refer to written lines while speaking only when required because one may not always have luxury to refer to written things during every meetings in future. So while I will continue to write , with practice I will try to reduce the need to refer while speaking.
     
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