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Have you ever been in a stand up that turns into a status update meeting, where the team lead is trying to move cards around or asking where something is? This happens way too often for development teams. For many groups, most meetings that are designed to not be about status quickly turn into status updates once someone notices things are not where they are supposed to be. Most Scrum Masters and managers find it nearly impossible to be proactive about strategy before a stand up. This isn’t because teams are unskilled or unorganized – it’s because they don’t have the right tools to easily track work in progress.

Our value stream management tool, HCL Accelerate, has a unique swim lanes view that takes out the status updates and replaces that time with strategy and alignment. Swim lanes let you get rid of the famous line “Please make sure your card is up to date before stand up” and leverage the power of relationships in HCL Accelerate to provide a real time view into where work is.

swim lanes

Setting up the team for success is the main goal for stand ups, and this becomes easier when we know the data is in the correct positions. Let’s take a look at the team above and focus on some examples.

Aligning with your team on priorities and who needs help will set the tone for the day. In the Swim Lanes view above, you see that Steven Boone has an item that appears to be stuck in the stage “Merged”. Instead of waiting for stand up to ask Steven about the status, a Scrum Master could be proactive about investigating why this item is stuck. This looks like an automated stage since the average time is “a few seconds” so this probably means something broke or failed.

Steven might not have even realized this is stuck if he hadn’t looked at the value stream recently. In fact, if we move further to the left on Steven’s row you can see he might have already moved on to other stories and seems to have a much larger load than other team members. This allows for a deeper conversation in stand up to figure out what is going on and if Steven needs help.

When we look at a bird’s-eye view of this team, we can also see an item that looks to be unassigned but in progress. This usually means someone has started work but has not assigned themselves, which could lead to someone working on too many things at once.

Without a view like Swim Lanes, visibility into workload and what’s stuck is nearly impossible because the data is often incorrect or outdated. I’m sure you’ve experienced having developers update in stand up or forget to mention all the items they were working on. With the power of relationships in HCL Accelerate, you get a complete picture of your DevOps data and can filter it to show what matters to your role. Try HCL Accelerate for yourself with our free download now.

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