What did I learn?

In a daily standup meeting, consider telling your team mates

What did I learn since our last standup?

There is also other advice for structuring the daily standup, like

  • What did I achieve since our last standup?
  • What do I plan to achieve today?
  • What is hindering me achieving our goal for the current interation?

All of that is right. In a project situation where the team has to work through a lot of uncertainty, answering the question What did I learn? might be more suitable at times. This seems to be inline with the experience Basecamp made as they are describing it on their Signal vs. Noise blog[1]. They call the uncertainty the uphill phase:

Work that requires problem solving is more like a hill. There’s an uphill phase where you figure out what you’re doing. Then when you get to the top you can see down the other side and what it’ll take to finish.

The uphill phase is full of false steps and circles and dead ends. It’s where you encounter the unexpected. The programmer says yeah that’ll take two days but then they start touching the code and the reality is more complex. Or the designer says this interaction will be perfect and they test it on the device and it’s not what they hoped.

The most important question for a team isn’t what is left? but what is unknown? Can you see the edges? Have you gone in there and seen everything that needs to change? The only way to gain certainty is to roll up your sleeves and engage with the reality of problem.

Running in Circles

Don´t loose focus on what you want to achieve. E.g. when doing a Daily Scrum, the Scrum Guide[2] is saying:

The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work. … The Developers can select whatever structure and techniques they want, as long as their Daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal and produces an actionable plan for the next day of work. This creates focus and improves self-management.
2020 Scrum Guide

  1. Running in Cirlces ↩︎

  2. I´m referring to what I believe is the official 2020 Scrum Guide, by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. ↩︎