The Egoless Daily Stand-Up

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Back in about 2004 I was really proud of myself for coming up with the term “Egoless Development” in explaining my team’s approach to self-organization and collective code ownership. The concept was actually invented some years earlier than my use of it.

(egoless :: proud – an oxymoron perhaps?)

Somehow I doubt the author had Egoless Daily Stand-Ups in mind though…

Most of the variations I’ve seen on the 3 basic questions in a daily stand-up have a small but significant issue in common – they’re entirely ego-centric.

    • What have I done since yesterday?
    • What am I planning to do today?
    • Do I have any problems that would prevent me accomplishing my goal?




There’s a mountain of guidelines on daily stand-ups (some of the best being Martin Fowler’s) so I’m not going to retread these. All I offer here is a tweak in thinking.

These are about the team, not you…

Consider these – either as questions themselves or in your approach to responding to whichever questions you use for sharing with the team

    • What have I finished or accomplished that others on the team need to be aware of?
    • What am I going to “open the lid” on that I should confirm with others before starting?
    • Where am I stuck, who can help me and how does that impact the team?

How is the work you’re performing going to aid the teams commitment or goals?

As a footnote, Mike Cohn’s suggested 4th question for the scrum of scrums – “Are you about to put something in another team’s way?” works (at least in my mind) for the same reasons – it’s more about other teams than you.

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