Experimenting with daily stand-ups
My direct team-mates at Canonical live everywhere from the US west-coast through to Poland, so we don’t have the option of doing a ‘traditional’ stand-up each day.
In the past we’ve done IRC standups – each pasting our notes at one point in the day when we’re all online – which helps a few points (recording what we’re up to) but has quite a few drawbacks in my opinion (see Vincent’s thoughts on irc standups also). A lot of us on the team admitted that we didn’t always give the irc standups our full-attention.
Right now we’re trying an experiment which is kind-of neat. We’re doing voice standups in pairs/triplets with people in similar timezones, but adding our standup notes to a wiki page before the call. The advantages are that the calls are easy – I can read through Lukasz’s notes and we just discuss any issues or successes as well as the plan for today, and vice-versa. Also, as we all subscribe to the wiki page for email notifications, we actually read everyone else’s notes from different time-zones asynchronously (and all stakeholders can take part in calls or read the notes as desired).
Personally, having a brief voice call as part of my day is a huge benefit – just touching base with another voice from work, and having a bit of a chat after going through our stand-up gives a more human touch to working from home. It’ll be interesting to see whether others on the team find it more or less helpful.