Daily Standup: Increasing Team Accountability

Updated: Jan 20

Communication, Accountability, and Visibility. We often teach that using Scrum will improve these three aspects of how individuals work together. The Daily Stand-Up or Daily Scrum is one of the tools we use to encourage these three things. Here are some ways that you can amplify your Daily Stand-Up to increase the accountability of your team, how they communicate with each other, and increase the visibility of the work both within the team and outside the team. Some of the things discussed below are advanced techniques targeted at teams looking to take their Stand-Up beyond the basics and really get the most out of those 15 minutes. For new teams, you might consider some of these things a goal to use once the team is ready.

Team Ownership

Who is the Stand-Up for? Is it to report to the Product Owner the status of the sprint backlog? Is it to report to the Scrum Master the roadblocks the team is confronted with? These are both nice things to have, but the biggest reason is for the team to communicate with each other and be accountable to each other. At the risk of sounding a little cheesy, Disney’s High School Musical may have said it best “We're all in this together, And it shows, when we stand, Hand in hand, Make our dreams come true.” While juvenile, the sentiment is correct. We are all working towards the same ‘dreams’ or business objective, whether that is to develop an amazing product or market that product to the world, the team will sink or swim together.

The team has collectively agreed and committed to complete the Sprint. We are all relying on one another to finish our respective responsibilities. So what’s the point? Teach the team that they are reporting to each other, that they are accountable to each other in the Daily Stand-Up meeting. This is their meeting, its not owned by the Scrum Master or the Product Owner, but it does fall on the Scrum Master to facilitate the meeting and teach the team how to get the most out of the Stand-Up. The more we can foster this sense of team ownership of the Stand-Up, the more effective the meeting will be. What are some processes we can implement to help encourage this collective ownership?

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