Before your standup, sit down

I’m running a Scrum project, and doing things a little differently than the classic method. I’ve done this at two different companies now, and it seems to work out well.

Before a traditional standup meeting with The Three Questions, I schedule 15 minutes of intentional downtime. Since this happens at the start of the day, it’s a chance to quietly plan out your day, and start on a thoughtful note.

I’ve often found myself “preparing” for a standup meeting by quickly scribbling down what I’ve done on a sticky note, so that when called upon, I can know what to say without having to think too hard. So why not formalize this? Work life is hectic enough. A few minutes of quiet reflection can make a big difference. Knowing what you need to work on is the first step to avoiding thrashing. Since we use a software tool to track sprint work, capturing the day’s list in this app is a fine thing to do during this time.

One caution: it’s easy for this to slip into extra-minutes-for-commute time, or just a regular standup meeting that starts 15 minutes later. To get the benefit, the team needs to be present (but not necessarily in the meeting room).

Has anyone else tried something like this? -m

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