Naked Standups

ah I see I have your attention 😉

I recently hosted a small session in an “unconference” in Deutsche Bank where we talked about daily standups, we talked about the various patterns of reporting, eg. what did I do yesterday, what am I doing today, whats impeding me, and how you can change the “do” word to “learn” (a kind of learning model suggested by Liz Keogh picked up in a recent Qcon conference) and changing the “do” word to “achieve” also to get a little more focus on committment.

I am fine with those, I think they are a good idea.

We also talked about distributed standups and the idea that you might all be sitting down having a mini-conference call, or crouched around a conference phone standing next to the task board.

But what I am most interested in is the quality of whats being said.

Naked standups

Naked standups are when people can talk completely freely about what they are working on without the feel of intimidation from a boss, or colleague who may be a bit of a task master or someone who looks down on you, or what went on in the previous day. It ties in very well with the “Safety Check” used in retrospectives and facilitated meetings.

Something I have noticed about standups is that some people tend not to reveal everything, or rather they withhold a little information so instead of being transparent for the benefit of the team, they are a little opaque for the perceived benefit of self. This is influenced by:
who is there
the culture of the team
the culture of the department or company
their recent (coding) actions
how (more often) bad or good something is,
personal shyness,
I could go on!



How do you deal with these?

Well I am not going to tell you how to change the culture of a company, I’m writing a blog not taking over the world! However most of these could be helped with those conversations you have at the coffee machine (or posh franchised yet subsidised coffee house in your building), over lunch or down the local pub or company gym.

What we can strive for ourselves is to remember that the better standups are the ones where we are not afraid to denude ourselves in order to resolve issues and develop better as a team

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