Changing Up Your Stand-Up When it Becomes a Status Update

We learn in Scrum to facilitate the daily stand-up having each person answer three questions:


  1. What did you do yesterday to contribute to the iteration goal?
  2. What do you plan on doing today to contribute to the iteration goal?
  3. Is there anything blocking you from starting or finishing your work today?


Sometimes, we find that teams run into a pattern where it feels a little more like a status meeting and less of a team strategy planning for the day. How can we change that?


Try changing your stand-up to a story focus versus individual focus while still using the Task Board.


  • Facilitate it by running  top-down with your stories (based on priority from iteration planning) via your team task board
    • The team should see what tasks that are in progress and it should makes sense as to the team’s update on the story
  • Have team members who are working on the story discuss what they have completed the day before, what they plan on doing today and if anything is blocking story
  • Continue this pattern with all stories in progress (no need to discuss stories not in flight for the stand-up)
  • The Meet-After should include conversations around stories not started and risks to them being completed with the PO along with other topics brought up that day by the team or PO


What is required to be in place in order for this to be successful?

  • Stories sequenced in the priority in how the team should work within the iteration, top-down approach ( this is done during iteration planning)


What to look out for…

  • Team members working at the bottom of the list first
  • Not challenging themselves on how to get #1 story done as quickly as possible as a team
  • It is mid-sprint and stories not started – are they in jeopardy? What does the team plan to do and how are they communicating this to the PO?


For those working with a Kanban team, it is naturally focused like how I described above. Kanban stand-ups are story focused along with how the team can quickly flow them through the funnel; removing any obstacles along with way. Collaboration and flow are two of the nine values in the Kanban Method.

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