Collaboration in Stand-Ups

Collaboration in Stand-Ups

Your daily stand-up should foster collaboration between your team. Yet, most often when we consider “daily stand-ups” or “scrum” meetings, we think of them as status updates, and they tend to take the same form. Each team member goes around, says what they did, what they plan to do next, and where they might be blocked.

Stand-ups took that form over the years because it worked.  It still works, and it is helpful, but your daily stand-ups will gain more traction if you move from seeing them as status updates into seeing them as methods for collaboration and removing obstacles. We should be working together to hit the sprint goal because all of our work influences the team and the sprint as a whole. We make progress together, so while the form of the stand-up should remain the same, the change is in how you phrase your questions to better incorporate your team.

As a project manager at Syncroness, I believe in making my stand-ups as collaborative and team-based as possible. The internal benefits include creating trust and commitment within your team, but it is also worth looking at the business outcomes that translate into value for your client. Some of them include:

Achieve faster time-to-market.
Use the standup to ask for help, or to lend your help. This way you can remove blockages faster and get more done. This translates into a quick turnaround and faster time-to-market for your clients.

Meet or even under-cut target costs.
A highly collaborative team can foresee project risks and obstacles that may be potentially costly for your project overall. Communicating these cost concerns early to your client can translate into saving costs in the long run.  

Improve customer satisfaction.
Effective stand-ups foster team collaboration which leads to more work done, more goals accomplished and a better product. Clients are happy when the product is better. It’s a win for everyone.

Small changes to the same questions can make a big difference. For instance, look at the following questions that are typically asked during a stand-up and compare to how you could potentially re-phrase it. With a few minor tweaks, the dialogue becomes more meaningful and collaborative.

  1. Traditional stand-up question: What did you do yesterday?
    Collaborative re-phrase: What did you do yesterday to help in our sprint?

  2. Traditional stand-up question: What are you doing today?
    Collaborative re-phrase: What is your plan today to help us achieve our goal for the sprint

  3. Traditional stand-up question: Are you blocked on anything?
    Collaborative re-phrase: How can we help?

 In product development, there is no straight line to success. There will be obstacles. There will be detours. The key to reaching the finish line is collaborating with your team every step of the way. Product Development is a collective effort that brings in many experts from Project Managers to Systems Engineers to Mechanical Engineers to Software Engineers, and more. The process is inherently collaborative. Don’t lose that collaboration in your daily stand-ups.

Learn how we can help you realize the value in your own project with our effective project management methods.

Vital Components of Product Development - Part 4

Vital Components of Product Development - Part 4