Don't say 'Yesterday' in a stand-up!

At ThoughtWorks Pune office, we were observing a regular pattern in Stand-up. Everybody will start to speak with “Yesterday, I did this… I did that…” and whole team used to feel it more of a status update and not giving idea and sharing the context. To address this issue, one of our team-mate came with a suggestion to avoid using word “Yesterday” in the stand-up. Now you don’t have word yesterday with you, you will be automatically forced to give a update which involves not only yesterday’s work but more than that. This worked great until following conversation happened…

(Names of the team-members are changed)

Friday, 14 Sept, 9:30 IST

… Ganpat: “Yesterday, I worked on …”

Keshubabu: “Ganpat, don’t use word ‘yesterday’ or at least avoid using that…”

Ganpat: “Ok. Day-before-today I worked on…”

Whole team: !!!!!!!!!!!

That was a funny incident but, we really experienced value coming out of avoiding using word ‘Yesterday’. This helped us to achieve sharing of context of the story and not just yesterday’s work.

Published September 17 2007

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