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Standups and team accountability

Scrum standups, also known as daily scrums, are short, usually 15-minute meetings held daily during a sprint. The team gathers to discuss what they did the previous day, what they're planning to do today, and any impediments they're facing.

A Focus on Self-Organization

One of the central tenets of Agile is the belief in empowering teams to organize themselves. Rather than having a manager or leader assign tasks and dictate workflow, the team works together to decide how best to accomplish their goals. Standups enable this by:

  • Facilitating Communication: These daily touchpoints ensure that everyone knows what others are working on, leading to better coordination and collaboration.
  • Adapting to Change: Agile encourages flexibility, and daily standups allow the team to quickly adapt to any changes or obstacles in their path.
  • Promoting Transparency: Each team member openly discusses their work and any challenges, fostering a sense of trust and openness.

Accountability in Action

Standups also play a vital role in holding team members accountable for their commitments:

  • Clear Expectations: By discussing daily goals and progress, team members have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
  • Peer Accountability: Team members hold each other responsible for their commitments, creating a collective responsibility for the project's success.
  • Problem-Solving: If a team member is falling behind, the standup provides a forum to identify the problem and find a solution quickly (through a sidebar meeting with relevant parties after the standup).


  1. Can you recall a time when your personal actions demonstrated commitment to the team's goals during a Scrum Standup? How did this contribute to the overall accountability within the team?
  2. How do you approach a situation where a team member's actions or beliefs seem to conflict with the principles of accountability in a Scrum Standup? What strategies would you use to resolve this conflict?
  3. In your view, how can individual accountability within a Scrum Standup enhance or hinder the team's ability to self-organize? Provide examples or reasoning to support your answer.

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