Step Up Your Standups 

Whitney
Diehl

Standups are a cornerstone of the Agile process and an essential ceremony in many engineering organizations. A great way to facilitate knowledge sharing, team cohesion, collaboration, and more, standups can help keep projects on track and clear of roadblocks. However, standups as we know them are in need of some TLC. When you meet with your team every day and ask the same questions, it can get monotonous, and engagement may be lackluster. 

To step up your team’s standups, you’ll need to move beyond the typical standup questions. An Engineering Intelligence platform like Velocity can help you do that, making it possible to get your status updates before standup, so you can spend the meeting digging into at-risk work, addressing potential blockers, and helping to drive work forward. Velocity’s Workstreams aggregates data from DevOps and project management tools, acting as a single pane of glass for engineering managers to gain visibility into their team’s sprints and help them better prepare for the day ahead. 

Without the help of an EI platform, your standup likely looks something like this: 

Engineering Manager to Dev: What will you do today? 

Dev: Today I’m finishing up the Health Check feature. Dev2 had been working on it all week, but they passed it on to me before taking their vacation. Should have everything I need. 

Engineering Manager: Great, let me know if there’s anything you’re missing. 

Short and perfunctory, this conversation only skimmed the surface. 

With the help of Workstreams, an engineering manager can more clearly identify at-risk work and potential blockers before standup, so they know exactly what to ask to get past surface-level updates. That means standup can look more like this: 

Dev: Today I’m finishing up the Health Check feature. Dev2 had been working on it all week, but they passed it on to me before taking their vacation. Should have everything I need. 

Engineering Manager: Ok, I also see there were multiple discussions on the feature that required you to make a change in the code two weeks ago. Did the requirements change?  

Dev: Actually, there have been bugs reported so I am adjusting my approach. 

Engineering Manager: Ok, let’s grab some time this morning to walk through your approach step-by-step as this has been a tricky part of the codebase. 

Because the manager came to standup with context on the PR in question, they were able to dig deeper and ask questions that uncovered potential risks. Both parties were then able to walk away from standup with clear objectives and next steps to keep the sprint healthy and on track. 

There are many ways to structure standups, but one fact always rings true — the more prepared you are walking into standup, the more effective your meeting will be. Learn more about how Workstreams can help you step up your standups with our on-demand webinar. Packed with helpful guidance, the webinar will show you how to take your daily check-ins from average to amazing. 


Actionable metrics for engineering leaders.

Try Velocity Free right_arrow_white

Start your 15-day free trial today.

See what Velocity reveals about your productivity and discover
opportunities to improve your processes, people and code.