Daily Scrum: What All You Should Know..

As per the Scrum Guide, various events are advised for the team. Like Sprint planning, Daily Scrum, Retrospective, and Sprint review. All these events have different purposes and outcomes. Today I am going to talk about the events that happen every day once the sprint starts i.e. Daily Scrum or Daily Stand up.

Daily Scrum is an opportunity for the team to connect regularly and share individual updates with the team. Everybody is working remotely and people are usually connecting in meetings only. Hence it has become more crucial in the current scenario. In such times, Daily Scrum should run more effectively. Active participation from team members plays an important role here.

Daily Scrum

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People run Daily Scrum in various ways, some would use it as a team discussion forum. Some would use it as updates to management where the delivery manager/project manager/lead would ask for updates to team members on each item. If there are some variations, they would give some set of instructions. Once they are done with taking updates, the meeting gets over.

|| So what is Daily Scrum is exactly?

Daily Scrum is an opportunity for the team to connect regularly. The team becomes aware of the progress all members are making to achieve the sprint goal. The team’s status update should revolve around Sprint’s goal. What each of the team members has done since the last Daily Scrum? Are there any impediments/challenges team members are facing to achieve the sprint goal?

It is a daily planning meeting based on the concept of ‘Inspect and Adapt’. Post updates from everyone, and the team assesses the situation. The team sees If any change is required in the current plan. Does any practice need to stop immediately? Should the team correct some course of action? So team analyzed all scenarios and based on that would proceed further.

|| What it is NOT?

  1. It is not a meeting to give an update to the manager or lead. The team gets situational awareness of progress towards the sprint goal. Though managers/leads can come to these meetings to get the team’s updates they would remain silent listeners till the time the team finishes their updates. Post updates managers can ask for details about the team’s updates. The team also can ask any questions them. But it should strictly happen after the team finishes their updates. It’s the team’s time and nobody should interfere while the team giving updates.
  2. It is not a forum where people start getting into discussions and overshoot the Daily Scrum time. The team finishes their updates first. Post updates, whoever is required for discussion, can stay and others can drop from the meeting. Even sometimes team members also start asking questions immediately after their updates and other team members get tempted to answer the question. Here Scrum Master needs to be vigilant. He should ask team members to park such discussion till the end of Daily Scrum.

Role of Scrum Master

Scrum Master plays a very important role in facilitating this ceremony. For a new team, it takes a good amount of time to get the discipline in the team to stick to the agenda. He/she needs to make sure that the team just talks about their stories/tasks and has alignment with the sprint goal.

Initially, team members would have a lot of questions that they want to clarify while giving their updates. Also, other team members want to provide a solution. Scrum Master needs to pitch in here and make sure that all team members are finishing their updates first and nobody is waiting because of these discussions.

One way to handle such a situation is to have a working agreement created with the team. Scrum Master can use this working agreement as a guide for the team. Creating a comprehensive working agreement at the start would help the team, in the long run, to have discipline and run the events effectively.

Hope this information will help you. Thanks.

Refer Scrum Guide for more information on all events, roles and artifacts.