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How to Fix Your Daily Scrum

The daily Scrum, sometimes referred to as a daily stand-up, is a quick team synch where development team members check in on their progression toward their sprint goal. Typically, what’s addressed is: What I accomplished yesterday What I will accomplish today Any impediment to achieving the sprint goal Typically, each team member gives a quick […]

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November 01, 2021

The daily Scrum, sometimes referred to as a daily stand-up, is a quick team synch where development team members check in on their progression toward their sprint goal. Typically, what’s addressed is:

  1. What I accomplished yesterday
  2. What I will accomplish today
  3. Any impediment to achieving the sprint goal

Typically, each team member gives a quick update based on these three questions. The team doesn’t have to use these specific questions; the daily Scrum can be tailored to meet their needs. That’s because the daily Scrum is held by the development team for the development team. It’s not a report out to the Scrum Master (though they will often facilitate the event), nor a check in with the Product Owner (who is optional for this meeting). It’s also not meant for  stakeholders or managers.

The daily Scrum is to ensure that the development team is in synch and effectively progressing together towards the sprint goal. I recommend doing it around a physical Sprint board if team is together in the same location or utilize a virtual board if the team is remote. This allows the team to visualize their Sprint and interact with the board as they are talking through their accomplishments and tasks.

The daily Scrum should take no more than 15 minutes max (most teams can do it in well under that amount of time). We want each team member hyper-focused on what is being said so they can quickly connect on progress, issues, next steps, and impediments towards the goal. If your daily Scrum takes more than 15 minutes, it’s typically because of one or more of the following challenges:

  1. Your team is too big
  2. Your team is doing too detailed of a status report
  3. Your team is doing a deep dive and problem solving
  4. You have managers and stakeholders in the meeting asking questions

For challenge #1, the ideal Scrum team size is 10 or fewer people. If your team is larger, consider splitting into smaller teams.

For challenge #2, the Scrum Master should remind the team it’s a quick synch, not a detailed check-in. Remind the team to simply touch upon these three questions, which can be modified for your needs:

  1. What I accomplished yesterday
  2. What I will accomplish today
  3. Any impediment to achieving the sprint Goal

For challenge #3, the moment the Scrum Master detects that the team member is about to go into a deep dive or into problem solving, tell them to save that for right after the daily Scrum. Also note anyone interested in that conversation, asking them to stay partake in the discussion. A quick question here and there may be okay, but anything beyond that should be addressed outside of the daily Scrum.

For challenge #4, while Scrum does allow others to observe but not participate in the daily Scrum, in practice, I’ve found the daily Scrum is more effective if it’s the development team, the Scrum Master, optionally the Product Owner, and no one else. This is not meant to be a report out to stakeholders; there are other events for that.

While the daily Scrum is meant to take 15 minutes, I reserve an hour on everyone’s calendar for it. Since we are now all together as a team during this period, the time right after daily Scrum is ideal for any follow-ups that come from synch. This could include deep dive conversations, problem solving, addressing impediments, and reviewing items that have been completed.

To learn more about the daily Scrum and Scrum concepts in general, look at our Certified ScrumMaster training.

 

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