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My Kanban development team is very good about sticking to the 15 minute daily standup rule and not discussing technical details and not giving updates but co-ordinating activities for the day etc.

However, after the standup they tend to use a further 15 minutes to review code, discuss technical issues etc.

Is this okay or should they be going back to their desks and using another time of the day?

I personally think its healthy but I am on the fence.

8

Your team has opted a good way for the Technical discussions. Following few points should be kept in mind during the discussion and should be monitored:

  • Discussion is not repetitive
  • All the necessary team members are involved in respective discussion
  • Members should come out with a conclusion after the discussion.

If this is not the case with the members during the discussion. It should be handled individually with the team members as well as in the retrospective.

5

I wouldn't worry about it if it works for them let them carry on :).

If you start to notice that it's affecting their productivity i.e. increasing Work in progress etc etc then maybe bring it up in a retrospective or another meeting that's not a stand up.

3

This is absolutely the right thing to do! The "meeting after the meeting" is often the most creative and productive collaboration your team will have in a day.

The team is already interrupted from their normal work, so no-one feels interrupted. And no-one likes to interrupt a team member that is "in the zone".

The interested parties can stay for the discussion and the rest can leave. No-one should feel obligated to stay for the meeting after the meeting. If the the topic wanders, as these often do, participants should feel free to drift back to their normal work.

There can be some downsides to watch out for! If team members use this as an opportunity to subvert the full team's agreements but individuals are too shy or fearful to say so in a larger audience you can have real problems. Although, if that's the case, then you already have problems.

1

Don't Stifle Active Collaboration

The 15-minute rule only applies to the formal ceremony of the daily stand-up. It is not intended to limit communication within the team; in fact, the underlying goal of the stand-up is to identify areas of planning or collaboration that need more attention!

If the team is adhering to the time-box of the formal meeting, and self-organizing to coordinate with one another afterwards, then the process is working exactly as it should. Furthermore, I would interpret the team's urge to collaborate as a sign that your team is committed, engaged, and largely self-directing.

Don't Interfere with Organically-Evolved Processes

More generically, a Scrum Master should be extremely careful not to dictate practices outside the formal ceremonies. The Scrum Master is there to coach the team on how to leverage the formal ceremonies such as the daily stand-up, but has no authority (and no reasonable incentive) to structure intra-team communications outside of those ceremonies.

As an example, a related question asked about the downsides of "chit-chat" on a project. In addition to the answers already posted there, I would add that it is not the Scrum Master's job to manage team efficiency. That doesn't mean you can't address inefficiencies as a Sprint Retrospective or bring it up as a blocker in a stand-up, but attempting to over-structure individual interactions is a common command-and-control smell.

This is an extremely slippery slope. In my professional experience, any authoritarian interference with organic communications within the team damages esprit de corps, and can even lead to a sort of learned helplessness that is much more damaging to the team's productivity than the "wastefulness" the interference was meant to control.

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