· xp agile standups

Standups: Pair stand together

One of the common trends I have noticed in the stand ups of teams which practice pair programming is that very often the first person in the pair describes what they have been working on and what they will be doing today and then when it comes to the other person they say ‘ditto’.

After I dittoed one too many times on a project earlier this year it was pointed out to me that this was not a valuable way of contributing to the weekend and that I should describe my view of our progress as it may differ to my pair.

I had thought I was avoiding repetition by not contributing information which had already been covered, but I went along with this idea and immediately something was mentioned which hadn’t been previously covered. Instant vindication!

More recently I noticed a similar trend on another project I was working on and we came up with the idea of each pair standing together in the standup and effectively speaking as one.

This allowed us to avoid the ‘repetition problem’ and the ‘ditto problem’ as when it was the second person’s turn to speak they could just add in any details that their pair didn’t speak about without having to repeat the whole context again.

I think this worked reasonably well and it seemed to make our standups move along more quickly.

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