- What did I do?
- What am I going to do?
- Anything stopping me?
This is all good stuff. I walk out of there sometimes, though, wondering if we're actually on track. I feel like I have a lot of trees, but I'm not at all clear on the forest.
This kind of overall progress is supposed to be charted on your burndown chart, if you're keeping one. But that doesn't always measure everything. It can only tell you if what you've done so far is on expectations (or behind or ahead). It can't tell you if there's something on the horizon.
I kind of want to add a fourth question to our daily standup:
- How do you feel about the release overall?
This is a chance for the person to say, "I know I just started this story, but it's looking like it's going to be really hairy", or "Now that I'm into this feature I was scared about, I think it'll actually be pretty straightforward." I think of it as the early warning system for what your burndown chart will tell you in a few days. And the earlier the warning, the more you can do about it.
That extra 15 seconds is worth it to me. So ask what happened and what you're doing, but also look at your place in the overall effort by simply asking about it explicitly.