At The Data School, we follow agile methodology and use the Scrum framework to plan and deliver our work. At its core, Scrum is based on the principle of empiricism, and transparency, inspection, and adaptation are the three pillars of empiricism as defined by the Scrum Guide. To bring empiricism to life, one of the core Scrum practices we use is the daily stand-up!
We do our daily stand-ups collectively as a team every morning. Our conversations are aided by a whiteboard, a few post-it notes, sharpies, and of course a cup of coffee or tea! It’s a time-boxed event in which each team member talks about what they did yesterday and what they’re planning to do today. We also discuss the risks or impediments that confront us and how they impact our progress. It’s an open and honest conversation that helps us to ensure that all of us have a clear understanding of the status of the overall project and we change course based on the new information we discover about the customer requirements.
One point to note is that our stand-ups are always lean, and we avoid any distractions or prolonged conversations on any given topic. I would like to stress that we make sure that the process doesn’t become a problem-solving exercise. This event helps us remain flexible and focused on customer value. Over a period of time, we have become so productive that we regularly finish our daily stand-ups in around 10 to 15 minutes.
The daily stand-up is such a powerful tool that I would recommend it to any team regardless of the delivery methodology that they follow.