Standup Meetings, for Accountability not Communication

We Agile folks like out stand-up meetings but when asked why we do it we usually start talking about communication being a core principle.

A recent project involved a customer that was tentatively interested in Agile so started doing stand-ups. When it came to a month or so before my departure I stopped leading to help encourage the team to take ownership of the new processes that they had been learning.

The first thing that went was the stand-up meetings and the result of this lead me to the decision that we don't stand-up for communication. The best reason for stand-up meetings is to force every programmer to prove that they are working to the plan instead of just working.

This forces plan driven work which is prioritized and focused. My customer quickly descended back into panic driven work with programmers being approached by QA reps telling them of the latest problem and urging them into action. The plan was forgotten.

The chatter and sharing is nice and there are certainly other benefits to stand-ups but from a management perspective we do this to ensure that we are driving accountability for everything that we do each day.

The shorter iterations of Agile drive accountability to the customer. The daily discussion on what we are focusing on drives programmers accountability to themselves and their team.

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