Jason Frasca |||

Power of the Daily Standup

Three questions. That is all it takes to keep remote teams connected, accountable and up to date.

I use Standups to manage our 3D Printing Lab, student teams and now, my daughter’s homeschooling.

Background

The Standup originated with SCRUMS used for software development. As coders and software developers moved toward remote work the industry needed a way to keep everyone together. The Daily Standup is an efficient solution.

Remote work

How does it work?

The Daily Standup consists of three questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. What is blocking you from getting your job done?

The Standup meeting occurs at the same time each day, say 10 am.

Initially, the Standup was conducted on the phone or via video conferencing.

No surprise software solutions appeared to conduct the standup virtually. At a predetermined time, you would receive a message asking the three questions. Once all team members responded the software sends everyone’s Standup to the rest of the team. Very efficient.

How I use the daily standup

I have implemented the daily standup in several areas that I manage:

  1. The MIX Lab. Students volunteer in our 3D Printing lab at all hours of the day, 7 days a week. Each student is required to end their shift answering the three questions. I modified the last question to say: What is blocking the lab…” Each student is required to read the prior standup when they begin their shift.
    • Benefits:
      • The baton is passed seamlessly between techs
      • Everyone is kept in the loop across all shifts
      • I can respond to questions, needs, or problems
      • We run this on Discourse.
  2. This semester I experimented with having students post a standup as a graded assignment in my entrepreneurial marketing course. Instead of daily, I switched it to weekly.
    • I created a Google form for each team to post their answers to the three questions.
    • The responses are pushed to a Google Sheet which is shared with all team members, plus myself.
    • Benefits:
      • Accountability between teammates is built into the course.
      • I’ve eliminated the one student on every team that does not show up until the 2nd to last week of the semester.
      • No standup, no effort demonstrated.
      • He said she said is eliminated
      • Grade reduced for late or no standup
  3. I am the one home each day with my 6th-grade daughter as she home schools. Each afternoon I have her share her agenda with me. I ask her to show me:
    • What she accomplished today?
    • What needs to be completed tomorrow or by the end of the week?
    • I skip the blocking for simplicity.

It works beautifully. I am informed knowing she is on task and schedule. If she needs anything we discuss it then.

Daily Standup’s can have a positive impact on remote teamwork which many of us now must do.

I am curious, how are you using Standup’s?

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© 2020 Jason M. Frasca