Tuesday, November 14, 2006

High energy standup meetings

Given that we practice eXtreme Programming at our team, we hold daily standup meetings. Having attended them for 9 months, I appreciate their value in keeping the team connected and committed to the project.

One thing that I find particularly important however is keeping energy high in the meetings.

To achieve that, here are several suggestions that I have applied:
  • Before everybody shows up, begin a casual conversation with someone, speaking with a loud voice and showing great enthusiasm and interest. Works best if you get other people to join the conversation before the meeting begins as it puts everybody in an excited enthusiastic mood.
  • Start the meeting with News of the Day. Make sure to select a single ground-breaking story that will attract the team's interest
  • Crack a joke, especially if you're natural at telling jokes. (I find that getting people to laugh at my lousy performance of a joke does the trick of energizing the team as well. ;) )
  • Rotate who leads the team as this creates variety in the meetings and infuses different personal flavors
If anyone has interesting ideas to energize a standup meeting or would like to share personal experiences with standup meetings, please post a comment.

Remember, keep energy high in standup meetings.

1 comment:

David Beers said...

Just wanted to say that having been involved in stand-ups both before and after Andy started implementing these ideas, I really do find that his suggestions have energized the meetings. It might sound a little silly to talk about "energizing" meetings, but it's amazing how much more you can accomplish in a short time if you have a moment at the start where you all laugh about something and focus everyone's attention on the group. (Usually someone has some wise crack about the "news" announcement that breaks the ice and gets people into the mood for the meeting. Choose news items with this in mind, rather than trying to find things that are especially relevant to the work at hand.)

Maybe the real take-away is this: don't let stand-up meetings get into a rut. Shake them up from time to time so people don't "switch off."