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Keep those Stand Up Meetings Short and Sweet

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Jun 05, 2006 |
Keeping the daily Scrum, or standup meeting, short is a challenge for some teams. Conversations get out of hand and distract the team, or developers forget and go into too much detail. Any number of elements can derail a standup meeting, making it boring or too long.

Many of us are familiar with the "Talking Stick", a token some indigenous peoples use in meetings (and they have apparently been running well organized tribal meetings for many thousands of years).  It's an elegantly simple way to keep a group focused and respectful.  Kane Mar, a west coast XP coach has blogged about how several teams have adapted this idea.  The photos are great.

Now, a pig mascot as a "talking token" may be brilliant - or disrespectful, depending on how you feel about the oft used Scrum story of the Chicken and the Pig.

If you are intrigued, Jeff Sutherland has blogged on how the three questions of the daily Scrum improve effectiveness, and you can find out more about running a Scrum meeting on Simon Baker's blog, where he's also given links for further reading. It's a useful tool for any Agile team, even if team members are not all on-site - distributed teams can use a conference phone - though the visuals get lost if the team uses a physical task board.

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