I have been thinking about team and company standups recently and what purpose they serve in both cases. I used to think both were simply a ritual for keeping everyone updated, reporting and finding out if further offline discussions needs to happen.
Having experienced a different culture and way of doing things where I work now at @Pushpay I figured it was worth sharing the simple few tweaks we have introduced to our standups.
We have a few objectives we aim to satisfy in our standups so they give us real value in both our team's daily standups and the larger product and engineering standup. For both daily and weekly we speak to:
1. What we did yesterday/last week.
A progress update makes sense for any standup. That hasn't changed. Teams share thier progress.
2. What is our mission for the day/week.
Teams set themselves a list of things they want to achieve or ship during the week and each daily update becomes our check that we stay focused on achievable things we can continuously deliver towards a weekly mission.
When we are at weekly standups everyone gets a turn sharing their teams update with the wider group. When we do that together we all get a better sense of contributing a piece of the larger puzzle we are solving as a whole engineering/product team for us and our customers.
3. What I learned
Not so much in a daily sense (we have a today I learned Slack channel for this) but we really encourage teams to share a learning experiences every week with everyone.
Especially if the team has had a blameless post-mortem incident. Its important to note talking about incidents isn't an occasion to dread.
4. Celebrate your successes and failures.
It's very very easy in tech no matter what you're doing to feel like you're playing tetris. As soon as one line is built, it ships and your focus is back on the falling blocks. Take some time to acknowledge what you have achieved together and what you and your teams have learned together.
We are genuine when clap and cheer on the other teams when they ship features. It's exceptionally positive.
We do the same thing in celebrating a blameless post-mortem. If your team has captured significant learnings and is on the road to improving as a result. That's not failure that's a success.
5. Be brief.
Short and to the point is good.
These values that shape our standups created a for us daily and weekly sessions that give a real sense of purpose and motion. Stuff is happening in my team and the teams around me. At the pace at which we deliver (multiple drops to production daily) it gives me immense satisfaction to hear about the things we are building even if I'm not currently with that particular team.
We know internally this is working well for us as a few people who now work here who have attended our company meetups on their hiring day saw it as a significant indicator of what it's like to work here and what we as a team of engineers and product people value.
These are such small tweaks but are culturally significant in thier benefits.
I'm genuinely keen to hear what you think about these values and what is working for your engineering teams. Say hi on twitter maybe ? @SparkleOps