How to eliminate waste from your teams’ stand-up

No Waste Symbol

Waste. No-one likes to create waste. And like many things in life it’s often easier to see other people creating waste, than it is to see ourselves doing it.

Eliminating waste is one of the key concepts in Lean Thinking. And part of Continuous Improvement is to constantly looks for ways to reduce waste, or eliminate waste that has crept in over time.

You can work to eliminate waste from all of your processes within your Ways of Working. For many Agile teams this means reviewing the regular team events, including the daily stand-up meetings.

Waste often occurs during the daily stand-up meeting when discussing issues or blockers. Granted, some issues benefit from the input of the whole team. But be careful that you are not wasting the teams time by discussing issues within the whole team when only specific team members need to be involved.

One technique you can use is to write the name of each issue on a whiteboard (or using post-it notes) and then next to the issue, identify who needs to be involved.  After the stand-up meeting has finished, you can have a series of quick meetings for each issue with just the relevant people.  And meanwhile, the rest of the team can carry on being productive.

This might seem like an overly trivial point, but as this is the most common meeting for most teams, it is crucial to keep it fast, snappy and effective. Otherwise team members may start to build negative associations with the daily stand-up due to spending long periods of time listening to discussion which have little relevance to them.

Ethann Castell profile picture

Ethann Castell

Ethann Castell is an Agile Coach and Trainer with over 10 years of experience coaching teams across various industries. He is a Certified Agile Coach (ACP-ACC), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and ICAgile Authorized Instructor. Ethann has authored two books on Agile methodologies and frequently shares his insights through speaking engagements and training programs. Connect with him on LinkedIn.