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Scrum Master Tip #4 : Daily Scrums

December 7, 2011

Transparent Toaster … Perfect to see when it’s Done

Two of the three  most powerful things about  scrum are  the Inspect and Adapt chances we have constantly.
Although sometimes we can’t see how important this 2 things are, they actually are the heart of scrum.

It’s really easy to misunderstand this 2 things with retrospective. Most people would think Inspection and adaptation is something you’ll do having a retrospective- guess what: it’s not.
Inspection and adaption are part of everything you do (including retrospectives, planning, grooming, backlogs, ..  and  daily scrums)

Daily Scrum is a pit-stop for inspecting and adapting (that is if we want to excel).

 What is a Daily Scrum

In Scrum a Daily Scrum is the place and time for the team to synchronize.
Daily Scrums should occur in same place, same hour, time boxed to 15 minutes, at each sprint day.

 Whom should attend and speak?

Daily Scrum is not a report meeting. That’s why daily scrum is meant for Scrum team only (Scrum Master +Product Owner +Development Team).
Nevertheless, the focus here is for the Dev Team to synchronize, so focus is given to Dev team- they are the one’s doing the meeting. Scrum master will only ensure the meeting is held on time and time boxed and Po will attend to understand how things are going and how team is selg-managing the  work.

Other’s may attend, but they should not interfere, exceptions are, of course,  if they have something valuable to add. In this cases I would say one should interfere, but wait for the Daily Scrum to end, else the daily Scrum rhythm will be lost, and focus will go to that issue.

 What should we expect from Daily Scrum

Well, Daily Scrum is a Scrum team meeting, or meet-up. So as a team, the purpose is to speak about what’s going on.
As we can’t afford to spend too much time discussing what’s going on, rather than doing it, we should keep this meeting up to 15minutes.

There is a “script” to run this meeting. One the team may follow in order to keep the meeting at a sustainable pace and in order to keep all Scrum Team members using the framework or order of subjects.

How should we run the daily scrum?

All member should stand up, in a place of team’s choice and at a time the team chooses – although once you choose one place and time you should not change it until end of sprint. This is like this, because we want to reduce complexity.
Also it’s recommended that you form a circle: this way team members can face each other – in a circle you can hear everyone, and it’s unlikely you’ll start chat with someone by your side if your facing the one speaking.

Because we want to inspect yesterday’s work and plan for today’s work (or tomorrow’s- depending on which hour of the day you choose) we follow this “script”:
– What did I do yesterday
– What will I work on  today
– Things that stopped me or that are stopping me from working

If there are things stopping someone, Team should help with this by removing the obstacle.
Often it’s said that the Scrum Master is responsible for removing impediments..well actually it isn’t. Scrum Master is responsible for handling the impediments, that may mean to remove or not. SM should remove if he’s the one with the right skills, or in the right position to do so. Most of the times SM isn’t, so we will address this to the right person.
From my Personal experience, most impediments are to be addressed to Product Owner (due to some doubts about the product, or external requests messing up with priorities) and mainly to the own Scrum team- when impediments are technical- meaning they need to instill more Pair-working.

So, yes: SM is responsible for handling the impediments,but that is not the same as removing them.

Should I update backlog after daily Scrum?

Yes. You should take the chance that all team has stopped working to synchronize and update the backlog.
Actually you should use Backlog items (when Backlog is visual)  to show which item you were working on, and to show the effort update in that item.

After the Daily Scrum it should be visible the progress both on the Sprint Backlog and Sprint Burndown chart. this means you’ll have a pretty good picture of how things are going on after all team members have talked. You actually can see it in terms of progress regarding your sprint goal.

And this leads me to the 3rd most powerful thing is Scrum.
So I referred Inspection, Adaption.. and there’s one missing.

This last one will also help you understand if your Daily Scrum is being efficient. Or just Cargo-cult.

I’m talking about Transparency of course.

Your Daily Scrum should allow you to do inspection, help you (team decisions and choices) to adapt, and finally make clear to everyone what’s going on.

So, there you have: 3 things to power-up and sustain a good Daily Scrum.

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From → Agile, People, Scrum, Tips

One Comment
  1. I think about precisely why you called this specific blog post, “Scrum Master Tip #4
    : Daily Scrums Scrumplicity”. Either way I personally enjoyed it!
    Thank you,Orlando

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