Daily Stand Up Simulation

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Daily Stand-up is the most visible and widely used Agile practice. This Stand-up simulation works quite well with either team, new, that never run the stand-ups before or experienced team, looking to make their stand-ups more productive. For new teams, I normally run “Yes and Story” Improv game before this simulation. This way group gets a fair understanding of team collaboration and what it takes to build upon each other’s work.

I have also run this simulation with few other variations in the script. It helped me highlights more dysfunctions e.g. one team member start explaining way too much detail or one team member showed up late and asking questions about the information that was already shared earlier, or a manager showed up in the stand-up and start questioning the status of the tasks.

Like any other agile game, debriefing or reflecting upon the activity is the most important element. I have listed few questions that will help you facilitate the debriefing section.

Timing

15 minutes simulation and reflection could take another 30 minutes

Material

  • Pen
  • Index Cards
  • A Script for each team member. You can use a below script or download pre-formatted pdf

****

1. DAVE – Skills: Development
Yesterday: did pair programming with John. We have finished coding of ORDER TRACKING story. I’ve also investigated the PERFORMANCE SPIKE
Today: I have few code reviews pending that I am planning to finish. I’ll call out design review meeting for PRINT STORY and document my finding on PERFORMANCE SPIKE
Impediment: I couldn’t get a hold of an Architect to discuss my PERFORMANCE SPIKE results. I’ll try to get a hold of him today

2. SARA – Skills: User Documentation, Organization Communications
Yesterday: Created a documentation for ORDER STATUS story
Today: I’ll finish and send out the first draft for everyone’s review
Impediment: I have no impediment

3. RAMESH – Skills: Database Administration
Yesterday: I have created a structure for QUEUE MANAGER table. I will move my task to done
Today: I have a plan to upgrade third party component in a test environment. Just so you all know, I’ll be out from 2 to 3 pm for my dentist appointment. Let me know if anyone of you requires any additional help in this Sprint
Impediment: None so far

4. MOHAMMAD – Skills: Quality Assurance, Testing, and Automation
Yesterday: I finished testing ORDER TRACKING STORY, found one unusual behavior. I have already discussed with Dave, and he asked me to log as a defect.
Today: I suppose to continue executing test cases for the same story but the nightly build is failing, so I can’t continue. I need someone to look into this issue.

5. JOHN – Skills: Development
Yesterday: I did pair programming with Dave and discussed the issue reported by Mohammad
Today: I will check the build problem, most likely it is due to the merge in the last sprint. Once the issue is resolved, I will continue my coding of SEARCH STORY
Impediment: I have no impediment

STEVE – Scrum Master
Thanks, everyone. I would like to give you a quick update on API dependency. I talked to the other development team, and API required for PAYMENT FEATURE will be ready by next week. Dave (Developer), please let me know if you are unable to get hold of the architect by noon. Sara (document specialist), can you also copy me when you send out your first draft.
****

How to run the Simulation

You required a typical size of the scrum team, if you have a large audience, choose few volunteers to take a part in the simulation and rest of the audience can observe and participate in the reflection discussion

  1. Briefly explain the stand-up format to the team
  2. Distribute index cards with script to each team member
  3. Explain the skills they carry
  4. Ask them to read their script silently first to make sure they are comfortable
  5. Ask them to stand in a circle and start reading the script loud one by one
  6. The reading should be sequential in order (the sequence number written on top right corner of the index card)
  7. As a facilitator, you can stand outside the circle. When I have smaller team size, I end up playing a Scrum Master role

Debriefing

I start with the first question and then usually do not follow any particular order. Some of the interesting question you might ask:

  1. What are your observations?
  2. How daily Scrum or Stand ups are different than traditional status report meetings? (expect some good discussion especially if you have project manager in your group)
  3. What are your thoughts on team’s collaboration? What are the signs of collaboration you notice? Did team build on each other’s work?
  4. How many impediments did you hear? What are those?
  5. Did everyone follow the standup format? What I did yesterday. What I am planning to do today and Impediment/obstacle if any
  6. Did any you notice that the architect is not part of the team? Or DBA is not fully assigned to this team? How to deal this type of situations?
  7. What are your thoughts if one member was remote?
  8. Did Scrum Master answer three questions in the stand-up?
  9. Did anyone notice that no one refer to Product Owner?
  10. Is it mandatory for Scrum Master and Product Owner to attend a stand-up?

How did your simulation go? Did you play multiple times with the same group? Did your variation expose some more dysfunctions? I would love to hear your feedback.

This game originally published at http://www.360pmo.com/daily-stand-up-simulation/

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