The Daily Standup Meeting is a core aspect of Agile development. The simplified idea is that you want to start the day with a very quick status check of what everyone’s working on, and helps “…to coordinate efforts to resolve difficult and/or time-consuming issues”. But, how do you keep track of the things your minions are working on today and deal with your own tasks, and 400 daily interruptions? For me the answer was to put together the Daily Team Tracker Worksheet.
I’ve been a big fan of David Seah’s Productivity Tools for a while now, but when it comes to task management his needs, and mine frequently diverge. As a freelancer he needs to track hours in a way that is totally irrelevant to me. He’s got no-one to answer to but his clients, whereas I’ve got a boss and coworkers who are asking for details on current and past tasks in ways that clients rarely do.
Every week I, and millions of developers like me, have to put together a status report for our bosses, letting them know what we’ve been up to for the previous week. Like most of the developers I’ve encountered I’m always a little unsure of what *exactly* I was working on, and typically I just open up git to see what commits I made, and try to remember any non-code stuff I’ve Thinking it was silly to keep wading through everyone’s commits for the past week to see what I worked on I’ve put it all together in a script (in Ruby) called git status-report, which you can grab from github here.
Almost five years ago I wrote a self organizing todo-list application. It was ugly, but worked really well. Unfortunately for me, I really prefer writing my todo lists out on paper. I like the simplicity of it, ideas just flow out through my pen. I can make notes and draw little arrows connecting things. And, I can make really satisfying check-marks in boxes when I’ve finished something. Paper’s just the right medium for me, and I know I’m not the only one.