Stir Up Your Daily Standup

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

If you do anything repeatedly it becomes a routine and you don’t think about it too much. Even something that you would expect to take a lot of concentration—driving, for example—becomes an activity that you can do almost on ‘autopilot’, at least until something unexpected happens like someone pulling out in front of you. That’s why we all try to make work more interesting—it breaks up the routine and forces us to consciously think about what we are doing rather than switch into automatic mode.

Agile has a major advantage over traditional project delivery methods in this area because it allows the team to be self-organized. Instead of being assigned to the same sort of work throughout the project, each team member is involved in planning and managing the work that happens. This creates a broader set of activities for each team member to be involved in, increasing the diversity of the work, lowering the chances of boredom, and making it less likely that the brain will switch off. This helps keep each team member focused on doing the best work possible.

But then there’s the daily standup. Ask anyone who helps organizations adopt agile and they’ll tell you how important it is to the success of an agile team. Ask any member of a successful team and they’ll tell you how valuable those meetings are. But is that really true? Aren’t these exactly what we’re trying to avoid with …


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