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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • How burdensome and time consuming are the daily standup meetings? Do they last more than fifteen minutes? Do they solve any problems? What do you talk about?

    When I was team leader during our last big project, I introduced daily team meetings at around 3 PM each day, and most people thought it was useful and a good ting. The subject: "What have we done today, what are we doing tomorrow?".

    One benefit of this round-the-table reporting was that it revealed when people got stuck for a long time on a problem without asking anyone for help. People got better at asking the rest of the team for help after a while, which was a good thing.

    Having the meeting at three made it a nice break and a summary of most of the day's activities and a kick-off for the next day (some people came in early and left early, most others came in at around 9 AM and stayed late). Any issues encountered during the day was discussed at this time.

    I tried a few other XP-like things as well, like Whiteboards as information radiators, unit testing, sitting near each other, lots of reflection on what/how we were doing etc, but nothing like the planning game, or other XP practices.

    Especially the Whiteboards were a success, I think we bought four or five within a few weeks when the other teams saw that they were useful.
    • The standups have just started, but everyone agrees that they are great. In a nutshell, six programmers stand around and say what they're working on today and maybe a brief explanation of what they're doing to solve it. Implementation discussions are not allowed. I've had to cut people off for getting sidetracked into them. If anyone wants to discuss implementation, they can do so after the meeting. The meeting takes about a minute per programmer, so it's quick and easy.

      We've had a lot of problems wh