4 mins

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Standups have become unfocused.

Developers often walk out of their standups asking themselves, 'Did this really need to be a Zoom meeting?'. This cognitive dissonance on your team creates disengagement over time, which can derail your sprint. However, standups are meant to be a teaching moment to understand and recognize risks that jeopardize progress.

Data can help streamline your focus and highlight the most impactful risks to your team. Before coming to your standup, you can use data to identify where issues lie. This data-driven planning will set you up for a purposeful and effective standup.

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Surfacing risks with your team

A risk is defined as a set of conditions that may indicate there’s an issue. They can reside in different systems, such as the codebase or project management tools. Examples of risks include:

  • Rework
  • Lines of code changed with little innovation
  • Too much or too little review
  • Inactive PRs
  • Branch without a PR
  • Too many comments
  • Incidents of employee burnout

Engineering managers and tech leads can help developers identify risks in their processes by asking informed questions during a standup. You want to have a holistic view of any behavior that emulates risk, so you can dig into them with your team. Data can help you gain the information needed to discuss what risks are present and how to move past them to deliver value.

Encouraging autonomy and leveling up your team

The outcomes of productive standups ripple throughout the engineering team. By discussing specific metrics in standups, you can tell if your team is moving forward. You can ensure that the risks are being addressed from an objective, quantifiable standpoint rather than opinion.

As an engineering manager, you will gain a comprehensive look at your team’s performance. On a basic level, you are able to identify where bottlenecks are coming from in their processes. Then, resources can be properly allocated to support your team members.

The opportunity to support your team increases with data. Not only will you be able to see how efficiently they’re working, you can identify any incidents of burnout. Fostering psychological safety is imperative to keeping your team happy and productive.

For engineers, they’ll be able to come to standups with impactful questions. Data can provide you the context you need to help them with their work without constantly having to check in with them. You can use your time to succinctly answer questions instead of playing catch up on all of the work your team has been doing. In turn, your team will foster more autonomy.

Reclaim your standups with data

Data can help you become a more effective manager by having action-oriented conversations. You can uncover gaps in risks and problems without having to constantly ask your team for status updates. Your team will thank you, and you’ll find your standups being more valuable than ever.

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How to foster data-driven tech leadership
Episode 03 How to foster data-driven tech leadership
How managers can use metrics to improve planning and run better standups
Episode 05 How managers can use metrics to improve planning and run better standups