Ten Tips to make your Daily Scrum more effective

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Over the course of the years, I have observed many dysfunctional Daily Scrum Patters
  1. One of the most frequent things I hear from Dev Teams when doing Daily Scrum is “no impediments”. In fact, if I made a penny every time someone said “no impediments” in their Daily Scrum, I would have made a lot of money !!  Consequently, the team and the scrum masters are less effective.
  2. All team members are giving their updates so fast that they do not have time to digest what each team member is saying
  3. Team members are listening to others and then forget to say a few things they wanted to say
  4. Team members are mentally rehearsing what they want to say and do not listen and pay attention to what other team members are saying
  5. One or two team members are joining by the Daily Scrum remotely, they do not see what exactly is transpiring between other team members
  6. Yesterday I was working on ticket 43134, today I am going to be working on 42157, I had an impediment and Service desk is looking into resolving ticket 5477779. (and some team members wonder what these numbers are)
  7. The conversation goes back and forth into a discussion and into a bit of problem-solving and some team members are lost and are patiently waiting for their turn to answer the three questions
  8. All team members answer all the three questions and leave the room
  9. The electronic tool is getting updated right before the daily scrum
  10. The burndown chart gets updated before the Daily Scrum
Do you want your teams to be more effective? Here are some corresponding ideas, try them
  1. Change the third question, as per the Scrum Guide, the third question is a closed ended question. Usually, closed-ended questions do not give much info. Instead try these questions below as the third question
    • What is coming in the way of completing the top (product backlog) item today?
    • What one thing, if changed, will make our team more effective in achieving the Sprint Goal
  2. Check with the team. Ask them if  slowing down their Daily Scrum with a small pause between each team members’ update will help
  3. Try checking with team members if  writing brief notes in a small post-it note before coming to the Daily Scrum will help
  4. Try the above tip + if they need to talk with someone / ask for clarification, check with them if making brief note of that issue will help them remember it later
  5. Video conference is so 1990s. Try using a robot. These Double Robots are awesome. The remote attendee can control a lot of parameters. It almost gives the feeling that someone is in the room(though on a stick and on wheels)
  6. Teach the team members to say a story. No one remembers ticket numbers. Call out the PBI you were working on
  7. Try using a talking stick to streamline the conversation to round robin conversation
  8. Teach the teams that Daily Scrum is Daily Planning. Many team members usually say something like “Robert and I should talk after the Daily Scrum” after answering the third question. Some more team members may join. Teach the team that usually they team will huddle for a short time after 15 minutes to re-plan for the next day, if necessary
  9. Don’t use an electronic tool.
  10. Teach the team to update their burn down chart at the end of the day each day.

The bonus tip(mixed with a bit of humor):  

If your Daily Scrum takes very long, try doing planks when having your Daily Scrum. I bet your Daily Scrum will be very short !!

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Posted in Communication, Daily Scrum

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