Standup: Focus on the Stories

I’m not a big fan of the typical round-robin agenda for standups: What I worked on yesterday, what I’m working on today, and blockers. I find that format often encourages folks to sing for their supper, to develop an on-the-spot narrative of what they’ve been up to and why they’re worth their salary. I don’t really care if you spent the day at a bar yesterday if you met your commitments (and did your best to support your teammates). The format tends to put the focus on the person, not the work to be done. Instead, I think, it’s better to focus on each User Story that must be finished that sprint. Also, it allows everyone in the meeting to focus on the yellow sticky on the wall and what needs to happen to get it into the Done column, and not at each team member who may be struggling. Of course, if the due date on the User Story keeps getting pushed, everybody knows the owners of that Story are having trouble and they need to jump in and help.