Leaderless Standups

I like the idea of leaderless standup meetings, but so far I haven’t found a way to pull one off. Pretty much everyone waits for the Scrum Master to start the standup and then keep the conversation passing around the room. Dave Nicolette mentioned on this in a recent comment:

Your choice of words caught my attention: “The tech lead was holding the standup meetings.” Ideally, no one “holds” the standup. The team stands up at the appointed time and they talk to each other. There is no leader as such, and anyone can get the ball rolling.

Two new ideas have occurred to me for some experimentation:

  • Have some totem to pass around the room between each team member. Anyone can pick up the totem and start the conversation. I think a rugby ball might do well here. Kane Mar calls this a talking stick.
  • Today I heard another idea from Doug Shimp on the Net Objectvives Lean Agile Podcast. This idea was to have the Scrum Master move around the room during the standup so the team members focused on speaking to each other and not the Scrum Master.