Although Agile looks chaotic in practice at first glance, good agile teams take heed to the rules agreed upon in a team.

Rules for the daily stand-up

Rules for the daily stand-up should cover the following:

  • Where will be the stand-up held?
  • What time does the stand-up start?
  • What is the duration of the stand-up?
  • Who will participate?
  • How will be the stand-up running?
  • How do we know who will speak and who will be a chicken?
  • How do I know when is my turn?
  • What about preparation for the stand-up?
  • In case I cannot participate, what do I do?
  • How do I know the stand-up is over?

Anything agreed upon should not be kept in one’s head or his emails. The rules will hurt anybody if they turn into a habit. The way of achieving it is by repetition. Print the rules and hang them up in the team’s room or in the place where the stand-up is held.

What kind of information do we need?

As mentioned previously we recommended three questions that should be included in each stand-up. Say it again – what did you do yesterday; what are your plans for today; and did you have any problems that should be discussed?

At times teams agree on other issues:

  • What do I need from other teams?
  • What other meetings need to be organized?
  • How much time do I need for completing the tasks?
  • Are there any new troublesome important reported bugs?

How to act in case of breaking the rules?

The daily stand-up starts falling apart at the moment when the above-listed agreements are compromised. The most common mistakes are lying in punctuality.

Experientially, Scrum Masters often complain about the people that are permanently late. The teams, I have worked with, had an agreement paying one euro by those that are late for the daily stand-up; in the case of absence, without any notice, the individual was penalized by an amount of two euros. Some teams adopted a physical penalty in form of small body exercises.

And some teams play it funny; watch the video:

Such small failures in keeping to simple rules do show teamwork and intra-team accountability. But it always ends happily. Either the team will follow all of the agreed rules or it will be divided into smaller groups that conduct better communication.

What kind of rules do you have in your team?

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