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Story-Focused Standups

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A widely accepted agile practice is the daily standup meeting, in which each team member shares:

  • What they have done since the previous standup
  • What they expect to achieve by the next
  • Anything that is getting in their way

Mike Cohn recently examined variations that shed additional light on the progress being made toward completing each user story.

One approach is to report story-by-story instead of person-by-person.  Mike suggested that a 'story owner' might be assigned to each story.  This person would be responsible for keeping track of the progress being made on the story, even if several other people are working on it.  This person might report on the progress of the story at each standup, or at least know which people to call on for updates.

Another way to tie status back to the story would be to have team members point out which story their work relates to.  One way of facilitating this would be to meet in front of a task board, designed such that the relationships between stories and tasks was clear, and have each developer point to the items that they are working on as they talk about them.

Has your team modified the format of your daily standup in order to put more focus on the user stories?  Leave a comment and let us know what you did and how it worked out.

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