Following the post Many timezones, one team - how do you stand up?, we received quite a bit of feedback and interesting ideas. Thanks for that! Today, we’d like to share our experience of how we addressed this particular issue, and how it’s working for us so far. This isn’t far from some of the feedback we got.
We created a separate Slack channel to Stand Up / Down and it’s working great so far. We reduced the time spent to Stand Up while sharing more with the team and keeping track of it. It also reduced the cost of being interrupted.
The Slack Experiment
At one of our sprint retrospective meetings, we decided to discuss ways to address the downsides. Particularly the time-consuming task for one team member, and the not equal experience among the team members.
As an experiment, we decided to create a separate Slack channel dedicated to Stand Ups and Stand Downs.
How does it work?
Well, it’s pretty easy as you can imagine:
- At the beginning of our day, we Stand Up in the newly created Slack channel.
- At the end of our day, we Stand Down.
It doesn’t really matter when it is. You could be stuck in a traffic jam for a while, just post whenever you are ready to post.
The room is being used exclusively for that purpose (not even the usual greetings). When we want to discuss further about something in particular, we switch to the other channels.
What does it bring us?
The big bonus is that it’s now way easier to share a link to a pull request, a Trello card, a bug report, or even a particular Slack discussion to give a few examples.
It’s also easier to notify or bring something to the attention of another team member.
Retrospective has become easier, because we can scroll through the channel history to see what was said in the past. When one person was writing the Stand Up, they used Slack Posts, which were hard to search and collapse when they got large.
We started this experiment almost 2 months ago and it has been working great so far. We significantly reduced the time spent to Stand Up and we improved our communication within the team.
The skeptical ones are now convinced that it’s working.
What all started as an experiment for our team is being experimented successfully in some other teams.