Step 7: Stand Up And Be Counted!

This content is syndicated from by Kelly Waters. To view the original post in full, click here.

So you’ve got your backlog in order, estimated your backlog, clarified your requirements, planned your sprint and created a collaborative workspace. You're sprinting to achieve your sprint goals; now you’re ready for Step #7 – Stand up and be counted!

Hold a daily stand-up meeting. The whole team must be present. It’s not optional. The whole team must be involved. Including, very importantly, the Product Owner. And any actively involved business, user or customer representatives. And any other specialists actively involved in the Sprint, even if they’re not usually part of the core Scrum team.

The team stands, in a half circle around their Sprint whiteboard. This is where Scrum gets its name. This is the Scrum.

Each team member reports back to the team in turn. Only the person reporting back should speak at one time.

Their report should be concise and focused. Their report should address 3 key questions:

1. What have they achieved since the last meeting? (yesterday)
2. What will they achieve before the next meeting? (tomorrow)
3. Is anything holding up their progress? (‘impediments’)

Quick questions can be answered there and then. But if any issues are raised as part of the report back, or if anyone has any questions that need further discussion, they should raise them but refrain from discussing them in detail until after the Scrum. Only those needed for the discussion can stay back to discuss together after the Scrum meeting is finished. Everyone else can get back to work.

This is about each and every team member taking responsibility for their own work. Taking responsibility and reporting back to their peers.

The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the Scrum meeting. Keeping it focused. Keeping it timely. Keeping it ‘on topic’. The Scrum Master is also responsible for removing impediments. Impediments raised during the Scrum can be noted on the whiteboard for the Scrum Master to deal with.

The Scrum Master does not have to solve all impediments personally. They can delegate. But they are responsible for ensuring the impediments are addressed. And addressed quickly. A key part of the Scrum Masters role is to protect the team and keep them focused on the tasks in hand.

It doesn’t particularly matter exactly when the meeting is. But it must be held in the same place, at the same time, every day. It must be routine. Like clockwork. So it must be at a time when all team members can attend.

Some agile teams agree a penalty for late arrival to the Scrum. Like most things in agile development, this should be a team decision. Our teams generally have a £1 fine for late arrival. This fine is paid to the Scrum Master and the team decides how to spend it at the end of a Sprint. Lateness usually stops as a result.

Stay focused on the purpose of the Scrum. With all team members present, it’s an expensive meeting. You cannot afford for it to regularly overrun. It has to be brief and to the point. For practical reasons, and for everyone’s sanity. With practice, you should be able to keep it to 15 minutes, even with a large Scrum team, because the updates are little but often.

That's it! Next we look at the how to track progress using a daily burndown chart...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + thirteen =

There are 101 ways to do anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”


“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”


“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”


“Kelly was a great colleague to work with - highly competent, trustworthy and generally a nice bloke.”


“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”


“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”


“Kelly’s a leading program director with the ability to take charge from day one and keep strong momentum at both a program and project level driving prioritisation, resourcing and budgeting agendas. Kelly operates with an easy-going style and possesses a strong facilitation skill set. From my 5 months experience working with Kelly, I would recommend Kelly to program manage large scale, complex, cross company change programs both from a business and IT perspective.”


“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”


“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”


“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”


“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”



To explore how we can help you, please get in touch