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Start Using Different Daily Scrum Patterns Beyond, “What did you do yesterday?”

Basic

difficulty

Stage 3

Agile IQ® Level

Metrics

Reporting

Introduction

Focus on empiricism and a plan for the next 24-hours instead of status reporting. Ensure the SM 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.

Making 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 the work item [2]
  • Reflect upon team progress against the Sprint Goal (such as reviewing a burndown chart or Throughput)
  • Experiment with Liberating Structures [2]

For the latter, an example of using a Liberating Structure for a Daily Scrum might be to use one of the most foundational; 1-2-4-All.

  • 1 – For one minute, in silence, think about what needs to happen today for us to accomplish the Sprint Goal.
  • 2 – For two minutes, in pairs, discuss what needs to happen today for us to accomplish the Sprint Goal.
  • 4 – For four minutes, in two pairs (four), consider what needs to happen today for us to accomplish the Sprint Goal.
  • All – For the remaining time, decide what we need to do until we meet tomorrow and consider triggering a conversation with the Scrum Master if anything is stopping us.

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. Ideally the team will self-manage in the absent of its Scrum Master and adjust accordingly.

What to Watch Out For

  • Watch out for past behaviours cropping up in Daily Scrums.
  • Are people still engaged during the Scrum, or busy on their phones and other distractions?

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.

References

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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