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You don’t need standup

August 15, 2018

5 min read

Read it on Medium by: palmerj3


They recently became a technical product manager at Spotify and insituted an experiment:

  1. No stand-ups
  2. No planning at regular intervals
  3. No retros
  4. All meetings are optional

#Issues with Agile Ceremonies

  1. Trello (or whatever you use) has to be kept in sync with what’s discussed in these meetings. It often isn’t.
  2. Stand-ups ENCOURAGE plans to change daily. Lack of consistency is a great way to ruin developer flow.
  3. Standup forces every team member to be productive at a set place and a set time
  4. Extroverts thrive at stand-ups, planning, and retros.
  5. Developers shouldn’t have to PUSH for tech debt to be addressed. Teams should operate at a sustainable pace.
  6. Why do we encourage problems to be discussed once a week? We should address them immediately, not just at retros.
  7. Sprints encourage features over tech debt

#Different approach

The reality is: I’ve told my bosses what we’ll deliver by the end of the quarter and I would rather trust that my team know what’s required to get there and be creative along the way.

#Stop Doing Standup

Plans shouldn't change on a daily basis, and if it does it's the manager's role to shield their team from this. This removes the need for daily checkins and opens the door for the manager to trust the team's ability to deliver the quarterly roadmap as they see fit. This allows for all of the innovation or tech debt cleanup time thats needed along the way.

Without standup:

  1. Developers communicate more
  2. Your team becomes more remote-friendly
  3. Tech debt gets addressed
  4. Developers feel more in control and less stressed
  5. Developers know you trust them and that you have their back

#Stop Planning Every Sprint

I’m not against planning, I’m against planning on an interval.

Without weekly planning:

  1. Developers are trusted to be working on the correct things
  2. Developers aren’t interrupted nearly as much so things get done
  3. Backlog is used as a priority queue of work to be done
  4. Tasks are added to the backlog as needed, continuously
  5. Blockers are communicated right away
  6. Planning happens when plans change. Meeting fatigue is reduced. Now when a meeting is called the team knows this was a last resort and is important

#Stop Doing Retros

Say you’re in a relationship and it’s going amazing. You should totally start going to couples therapy once a week, right?

This section of the article has the least information, but I think it summarizes to the same point the writer is making elsewhere. If issues occur call a meeting to address the issue (or resolve it without a meeting is possible). Do not plan a recurring meeting.


Effective teams question everything. They also trust each other. They also get a lot of shit done.

My advice for all teams is to not start by complicating things.

Stand-ups, planning, and retros are a tool and you should be putting a lot of thought into what tools you use.