Daily Scrum isn't a status report



Stage 3

Agile IQ® Level

Daily Scrum





Advanced teams realise that Daily Scrum isn’t a status report about “what did you do yesterday?”.

  • Focus on empiricism and a plan for the next 24-hours instead of status reporting.
  • Ensure the Scrum Master isn’t removing blockers, but instead helping the team to remove them.
  • The Scrum Master doesn’t need to be at the Daily Scrum. They only need to ensure that this event occurs and the team members attend.

The Daily Scrum is Not a Status Report

Under traditional methods of management teams will be familiar with status reports and status report meetings. These can take different forms such as traffic light statuses (e.g. red, orange, green).

This is not the objective of the Daily Scrum. Teams should work towards providing greater transparency in their work processes such that work status can be observed reliably at any time. Itshould not require the team to explicity state this. Obviously the status of work items may be discussed, but is for the purpose of making adjustments to the Sprint plan if required.

Actions to Try

  • Review the performance of the Daily Scrum during the Team Retrospectives.
  • Rotate the facilitator of the team. Use different games to select the facilitator. It does not always have to be the Scrum Master.
  • Use Liberating Structures 1-2-4-ALL for the Daily Scrum.

Tips to make the Daily Scrum more empirical (and engaging)

People tend to fall into habits, and Daily Scrums are no different. Adding variety and focusing on different aspects may lead to more effective events:

  • Pay attention to the age of Backlog items [2].
  • Reflect upon team progress against the Sprint Goal (such as reviewing a burndown chart or Throughput).
  • Ask if people need help.
  • Ask if any work is ready for peer review.
  • Reflect on learnings from the last 24 hours. Does this mean the plan for the Sprint needs adjusting?
  • Experiment with Liberating Structures [2]

Using Liberating Structures (1-2-4-ALL)

Liberating Structures’ 1-2-4-ALL pattern can be applied to the Daily Scrum:

  • 1 – For one minute, in silence, brain storm ideas that will help the team make progress toward the Sprint Goal over the nexrt 24 hours.
  • 2 – For two minutes, in pairs, discuss those ideas.
  • 4 – For four minutes, in two pairs (four), consider actions based on those ideas.
  • All – For the remaining time, choose the best actions that will help the team progress toward the Sprint Goal over the next 24 hours.

Is there anything that will stop those actions occuring? Are those actions outside of the team’s control to influence? If so, have a conversation with the Scrum Master. They may need to escalate the issue to a manger.


The Scrum Master Does Not Need to be Present

The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team's effectiveness. The team can effectively conduct Daily Scrums without the Scrum Master if the team is mature enough (typically Stage 3). Ideally the team will self-manage in the absence of its Scrum Master and adjust accordingly.

What to Watch Out For

  • Watch out for past behaviours cropping up in Daily Scrum.
  • Are people still engaged during the Scrum, or busy on their phones and other distractions?
  • The “Daily Scrum” in Scrum is different to the “Daily Stand-up” which is part of the Extreme Programming agile framework. 


1. Sutherland, J. & Schwaber, K. (2020) The 2020 Scrum Guide (TM). https://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html

2. Miller, T. (2021) Fix Your Boring Daily Scrums. https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/fix-your-boring-daily-scrums

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