Slack standups aren’t standups

I get the temptation to make standup asynchronous. “Stop forcing a daily meeting on everyone! Take back those 15 minutes!” It sounds great, and I’m usually a fan of writing as a way to collaborate.

But asynchronous standups are not standups. They’re a way for teams to kill standups without feeling guilty about it.

Why? Two reasons:

Reason 1: Standups are not status updates. I like Scrum’s definition of a standup, even for teams not doing Scrum:

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.

Scrum Guide

See that? In a good standup, you’re re-planning the sprint every day. That can’t happen if you rattle off a quick “last 24 I did X, next 24 I’ll do Y, no blockers” and move on with your day.

Reason 2: Nobody’s reading all those updates. At best, the manager reads them and one or two other people skim them. That’s not collaboration. That’s reporting up the chain, which is not what standups are for.

If your standups are so useless that you don’t miss anything by taking it to Slack, try fixing them instead of giving up.

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