Irrespective of the project methodology, doesn’t it make sense for people to regularly get together to agree on project progress and to identify and address issues as early as possible? Daily stand-ups/meetings allow the team to assemble and check that the project and individuals are all still aligned without consuming significant time. Try the following simple technique by gathering the team together once a day:
Each person in the team has 1 minute or less to describe:
- What did they do in the last working day?
- What do they plan to do in the next/current working day?
- What obstacles are preventing them from achieving their deliverables?
By answering these questions the team focus on their tasks and also those of the rest of the team. This helps ensure that analysts, developers and testers know when to expect deliverables and ensures they realise that other people are waiting on them.
To be effective these meetings should occur at the same time everyday at a time which is convenient for all. To ensure promptness you might like to ask the last person in to start. If someone cannot make the meeting then it should still happen. Ideally you’re looking for the meetings to become like clock work.
The time of the meeting will obviously depend on when the meetings are held. I typically like holding them first thing – at a time when everyone is in – at the same time everyday at a time which is convenient for all. If the team is geographically distributed then timing becomes trickier as does ensuring that everyone can hear each other – crackly, quiet phone lines aren’t optimal although skype is usually useful and cheap. If international calls are barred there are cheap national numbers which allow you to dial internationally for a minimal cost.
You can also let stakeholders know what is being worked on so they can listen in. If they have any questions they can grab the relevant people after the meeting, rather than hold the entire team up.
Give it a try.