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There is a lot of discussion about what should and what should not be allowed in daily stand ups. Some people say it should not include status updates.

What is the definition of a status update?

Scrum seems to say that you should do a status update e.g.:

  • What you did yesterday,
  • What you will do today and
  • Any Impediments

Is Kanban the same or different?

  • Very informative question. – Hitesh Aug 1 at 5:15
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TL; DR

In Scrum, a time-boxed daily stand-up with a structured format is mandated by the framework. If you don't have a daily stand-up, you aren't following the core Scrum methodology.

Kanban is less prescriptive, and doesn't actually mandate the daily stand-up as a formal ceremony. However, Kanban teams often borrow the practice from Scrum for the same reason that Scrum teams implement Kanban-style boards: because it's an effective agile practice that promotes a continuous inspect-and-adapt feedback loop.

Status Pulls vs. Stand-Ups

There's a big difference between a status pull and a daily stand-up. A status pull is when members of the team take turns reporting into a central authority (e.g. a line or project manager), while a daily stand-up is a commitment and coordination meeting between the members of a team.

Agile frameworks actively encourage other forms of status tracking and communication about the state of the project, and visible artifacts like the Sprint Backlog or kanban story board greatly reduce the need for formal status pulls. When there is information that can't be gleaned directly from framework artifacts, agile practitioners generally try to gather the necessary information through dialogue and conversations with team members rather than through formal reporting in a group setting.

Status pulls as a form of formal reporting are strongly discouraged in agile methodologies. I would go so far as to say that formal status pulls are inherently a "project smell" that indicates that there is a fundamental process problem with the agile implementation.

Stand-Ups Defined

Scrum defines a stand-up in a very specific way. The Scrum Guide says, in part:

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours. This is done by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting the work that could be done before the next one.

Not all agile framework mandate a daily stand-up. Kanban does not, but many Kanban teams still implement stand-ups as a way to foster collaboration and continuous improvement, and as a clearinghouse for issues that might impact flow or cadence.

Regardless of the framework or methodology, a stand-up is intended to provide a mini-planning meeting for the current day's work. The "three questions" typical of a daily stand-up in Scrum or Extreme Programming are just a formula to assist teams in coordinating the day's work by helping everyone quickly identify items that are ready to be handed off, intra-team dependencies, and obstacles to progress.

Any discussion items that don't fit within the time-box or the format of the meeting should be noted and addressed by team members outside of the stand-up. For example, Bob might say that he's unable to embiggen his widget because he's waiting on Alice to ensmallen her doohickey. Alice might respond that she's going to finish the doohickey today and will coordinate with Bob after the meeting, or she might tell him that they need to have a post-standup palaver to discuss the matter further.

  • This is very confusing because you can ether answer the 3 questions or not. You either ask each person to speak or not. Your answer is very 'neither here nor there' – TheLearner Sep 29 '15 at 12:05
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    @TheLearner The "three questions" are not the purpose of the stand-up. They are a format that team members can use to communicate, but they are not the purpose of the meetings. The purpose is short-term planning and dependency management. Scrum defines this activity as a formal ceremony, while Kanban does not. – Todd A. Jacobs Sep 29 '15 at 12:24
  • Excellent answer (+1) but some concerns. As regards Scrum. why are items being handed off (re Waste)? 'Intra-team dependencies' suggest individual work rather than Team. A "mini-planning meeting for the current day's work" sounds unfocused re Sprint Goal and Increment. I'll post my own answer for this. – onedaywhen Jun 8 '18 at 13:04
  • FWIW; while the name "daily stand-up" and the format are pretty common, the part about actually standing up isn't part of Scrum. You can have the meeting sitting down, if you want. (As long as you keep it in the timebox) – Erik Jun 10 '18 at 18:08
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The daily standup is required in the Scrum framework. It is often used by Kanban teams as well, but not part of formal Kanban.

The goal of the standup is the same whether used by Kanban or Scrum teams. There are a few common formats for the standup including:

  • The 3 Questions

    The 3 Questions is often a very popular format for newly forming standups where team members are just learning the basics of communicating their work items, learning to trust, and be transparent about what they are doing. The Scrum Guide uses the following examples:

    • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
    • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
    • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?
  • Walking the Board

    Walking the board is a great tool for getting individuals comfortable with interacting with the board, exhibiting that they understand the entire workflow process, starting to question other team members' work statuses, and building some leadership skills.

  • Blockers First (perhaps "Only Blockers")

    Blockers First is a good tool for getting teams into the problem solving/taking action mindset and focusing on continuous flow during the standup. I've observed a number of mature Kanban teams that choose this as their primary standup format because they only need to focus on blocked items and trust the Kanban board silently communicates all other work items. This requires a high degree of trust, transparency, and discipline.

These formats do emphasize different problem areas the team may encounter and can be good tools for getting teams to focus on specific challenges they are encountering.

  • +1 for good content, and for providing some of the common formats as examples. I made some grammatical and formatting edits to improve the post; if they interfere with your authorial intent, please feel free to revert or edit further. – Todd A. Jacobs Sep 29 '15 at 20:52
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    Thanks CodeGnome, collaborative solutions are always better :) – WBW Sep 29 '15 at 21:08
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I found an answer to my question in a Kanban book:

"Kanban has caused standups to evolve into a discussion focussed on the kanban board, looking at blockers first, then impediments and then the rest of the cards on the wall instead of going to each person and getting their update" - Kanban by David Anderson

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    Would be nice to add reference to that book, name/author etc. Thanks. – Aziz Shaikh Sep 29 '15 at 11:29
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The Scrum and Kanban stand-up are focused for the same goal. Speed up the progress of the team and remove any dependency within or outside the team.

In Kanban the focus is more towards completing first, then to start first. If a task is worked by the team, they talk towards completing it and team discuss the same with the similar questions as Scrum. The main focus is to have minimum number of items in "Work in Progress" as soon as possible.

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Kanban uses Stand Ups but the format is different than Scrum. Kanban's Stand Up focuses on the board! An effective framework for us has been discussing 4 buckets (in order of importance) for 5-15 minutes total:

  1. BLOCKERS?
  2. EMERGENCIES? Anything we need to address over other "normal / higher prioritized" work?
  3. NON-MOVERS? Why are these things stagnant?
  4. OTHER? Pick a class or category of items and walk down it (most important first, then a different one the next day).

Remember: Scrum limits work with time boxes. Kanban flows continuously and limits work by capping the amount of Work In Progress. They are different frameworks. The square peg will not fit the round hole.

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@Todd A. Jacobs has provided an excellent overview. I want to expand on one aspect:

a stand-up is intended to provide a mini-planning meeting for the current day's work

I think this slightly misses the point as regards Scrum. I rather think it should be:

the Daily Scrum is a re-planning meeting for the current Sprint

I'm not a great fan of the standard 'three questions' format (other than as a possible starting point for a shu Team). My favourite question for the Daily Scrum is:

How confident are you that we will create the Increment as planned and meet the Sprint Goal?

If a significant number of Developers express low confidence -- perhaps gleaned via fist of five votinglearning-with-fist-of-five-voting/) -- then what everyone had planned for today when they came into the meeting is of little consequence - we need to do some re-planning as a Team!

The Daily Scrum is only 'mini' in that it is time-boxed for 15 minutes but its implications can be much larger. In the above scenario, I would expect the Daily Scrum to wrap-up quickly to be swiftly followed by a Team meeting around a whiteboard.

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I believe it's the same in Kanban Daily Stand-up is an agile term used by many agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban.

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