Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I Stopped Facilitating Stand-Ups and Participated

Do you desire a more effective stand-up? Is your team struggling to find value in stand-up? Are stand-ups taking to long? Is the team addressing solely the scrum master, product owner, analyst, tech lead, manager, coach instead of the team? Are stand-ups becoming just status reports?

To address these behaviors with the team I decided to stop facilitating stand-ups and participate as a team member to initiate change. The stand-up is for the team to have a conversation. The team is comprised of development (programmers, testers, UX, etc.), a product owner and a scrum master. Light-bulb! I could participate. Behavior is learned and by me participation as a team member within the stand-up change could be initiated by my example. The team began to pickup on and emulate positive behaviors. Worried who facilitates? Actually the team began to self-facilitate with one another naturally. As a result, the team moved one step closer to being a self-managed team by learning to self-facilitate.
With a new teams I do seem to always have something to say such as updates on impediments and things the team may need to be aware of that could impact them, remaining transparent by sharing what I am working on to help visualize their work, sharing feedback, etc. 
As the team progresses the stand-up becomes more around how they are progressing towards the goal of the iteration, an opportunity to communicate struggles and wins, as well as, inform other team member of information they need to be aware of. I find that this comes with having small stories, small tasks, and  because the team is interacting with the board at frequent points throughout the day; therefore, awareness of what is done is already known
If you want to experiment participating instead of facilitating then remember to try not to be the one that goes first or last in stand-up to avoid coming across as authoritative. Use post stand-up for coaching opportunities if needed or discussions on how to improve stand-up which team members will begin to initiate.
I have run this experiment for improving stand-up on agile teams in different departments and organizations. This is not the only way I have went about improving stand-ups for teams with success but is just simply one way.
Follow me on Twitter @_AprilJefferon

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