Long standup updates are a warning sign

On various teams over the years, there tends to be one warning sign I pay a lot of attention to: the long standup update.

This is not the “long standup” (a standup that takes more than 15 minutes). That particular issue is usually caused by a confluence events. What I’m talking about is a long standup update that tends to be overly specific:

Well, yesterday I worked on feature X. I discovered that method Y (that is trivial) was in Z place so I moved it to B. I then discovered… (continues for 2 minutes)

So, today, I’m going to continue by moving method Y to B…

Over time, one gains self-awareness and the ability to recognize the problem.

If you hear someone giving an update like this, I urge you to empathize. Ask if he/she needs a code review. Or if he/she needs to do some peer programming. Or something.

Remember, an standup update should be:

  • What I did yesterday
  • What I am doing today
  • What is blocking me