Most teams that i have worked with have a standup every day in the morning. One issue each team has faced is what time to have the standup? I have seen teams that have standups as early as 8.30 AM to teams that have it as late as 11 AM. Generally speaking teams with earlier standups have lesser attendence than the later standups, This obviously is empirical, and it would be interesting to actually do this survey in teams with different standup times. I personally prefer later stand ups, that provides me the chance to turn up for a standup, that i would otherwise miss.
Typically people want it to be the first thing in the morning because it sets the tempo for the day. I disagree whole heartedly with this approach. I think that people are either morning people or evening people. And starting early in the morning is highly overrated. It comes from cultural preferences that have drilled into our brains that mornings are productive and evenings are less so.( Same lines as how people think being Right handed is better than Left Handed). Teams should pick their time by past experiences and individual preferences rather than being dogmatic about the timing based on some baseless beliefs.
I have one other issue with standups, this is something i have seen spread recently, being late to a standup gets you a monetary punishment. I have a lot of issues with the ways standups are conducted, but the one i violently detest is monetary punishment. On my project we pay 100/- for coming late to the standup.
It immediately reminded me of the example from Predictably Irrational, where the author talks about the Kids’ Creche which imposed fines on parents that came late. This experiment is well known, there were a couple of things i did not know about, and the author goes on to explain in a much better way than i could ever do, But i will give it a shot…
The story goes on something like, a kids creche was trying to make parents come in time to pick their kids, they figured that imposing a fine would make them puntual. On the contrary the number of people coming on time dropped. What was interesting was when the fine was removed again, the number of people coming late stayed almost the same. Dan Ariely explains it as the transition from Social Norms to Market Norms. The former is based on friendly requests and where money is not required, stuff like asking your friend to pick up dinner for you. The latter on the other hand involves money transaction such as paying for food at the supermarket. The author posits rightly that using money is an expensive and ineffective way of motivating people. Instead relying on social norms, like having a conversation with errant person would be a lot more effective in dealing with this sort of situation.
As soon as we have turned the stand up into a market norm, we are doomed, it will definitely bring less people into the stand up (which means less information sharing), because we put a monetary value to it. And people can payoff not coming to stand up in time. Instead, PM’s skirt the real issue by applying a fine rather than having the right conversation.