Daily stand-ups: second scenario of effective alignment

I’d like to share the way I used to run daily stand-ups. Depending on the case I use two models.

Team members attending mode

Usual team stand-up to align on daily progress. Yesterday-today-impediments questions applied to each team member.

But there is a second scenario that also works …

Work Items attending mode

When this is useful: imagine more than one Agile team is working on the same product/running same sprint and need to be aligned.

For this particular case I apply model to serve as peer management tool (for Scrum of Scrums aka SoS) with work items “attending”, where the yesterday-today-impediments questions is still used but will be from the perspective of the work item, rather than the person.

To run this one efficiently here is what I do:

  • I prepare list of aspects of product, teams have to address in common (e.g. regression bugs, functional tests, integration tests, unit tests, non-functional requirements and anything else teams consider as important);
  • I list them on the whiteboard beforehand (we have pre-agreed order of addressing those);
  • I invite max 2 team members per team to SoS to avoid long talks (one is also an option, however I’ve found 2 is optimal since in case particular team would need to make an on-going decision, another peer will help). Those guys are to talk for a team and report back to their teams whatever decisions were made, statuses changed, etc. in SoS;
  • Then I go through the list during SoS one by one (as if not teams attending, but “topics” and ask if each team has to align their peers on specific topic or has any related questions clarifying in which state topic is in presently);
  • I ask to share stories states not by default, but only in case there are questions or things that affect peer team(s) or causing dependency;
  • Then I ask if teams has anything else to discuss (and if that is technical, leave them alone);
  • Last but not least I ask if they have any impediments or may/are causing impediments to other team(s);
  • And of course I time-box to 15 minutes as max;
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