This will be a very short blog.
I have been to tonnes of standups…….. tonnes……, and its not uncommon to observe a lot of solutionising.
You might also call it tunnelling; its when two people quickly dissappear down a tunnel of thought around an issue and rapidly lose the group. You will know its happening when other people start to lean, drift, sit down, check their phones etc….
The issue might be important, and it might not be, but developers are often tunnelers by nature. They dont like problems, they want to solve them. You can’t hold that against them, and you dont want to be constantly shouting “take it offline” else the standup’s usefulness will be a bit too regimented and people might think you are a being a bit of a militant pain.
So dev leads, standup leaders, scrum masters, agile coaches, heres a reminder for you: If you have a 20 (overly large) person stand up, for every 3 mins you spend solutionising, thats a whole hour of development effort. In fact in this case, if you spend (God forbid) 20 mins solutionising on various topics, with 20 people you’ve just burned the best part of a day. Is a day worth it just to solve a problem thats far smaller than a day? No! Of course not.
The best thing to do in these situations is take the topic off line, with an agreement that the related parties will (pardon the expression) “get a room”!!
Of course the time burned depends on the size of the group. In many projects every hour counts, so I have written a little table to highlight time burned by solutionising.
(I was going to say time wasted but I think projects burn time whether its wasted or not depends on the outcome)
I hope you find it helpful.
|Group time Solutionising||30 secs||1 min||2 mins||5 mins||10 mins||20 mins||30 mins|
|with 5 people||2.5 mins||5 mins||10 mins||25 mins||50 mins||1h 40mins||2.5 hours|
|with 10 people||5 mins||10 mins||20 mins||40 mins||1h 40mins||3h20mins||5 hours|
|with 15 people||7.5 mins||15 mins||30 mins||1h 10mins||2h30mins||5h||7.5 hours|
|with 20 people||10 mins||20 mins||40 mins||1h 40mins||3h20mins||6h40mins||10 h|
and a handy standup link for those who want to find out more about standup patters: http://martinfowler.com/articles/itsNotJustStandingUp.html