Over the course of the years, I have observed many dysfunctional Daily Scrum Patters
- 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.
- All team members are giving their updates so fast that they do not have time to digest what each team member is saying
- Team members are listening to others and then forget to say a few things they wanted to say
- Team members are mentally rehearsing what they want to say and do not listen and pay attention to what other team members are saying
- One or two team members are joining by the Daily Scrum remotely, they do not see what exactly is transpiring between other team members
- 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)
- 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
- All team members answer all the three questions and leave the room
- The electronic tool is getting updated right before the daily scrum
- 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
- 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
- Check with the team. Ask them if slowing down their Daily Scrum with a small pause between each team members’ update will help
- Try checking with team members if writing brief notes in a small post-it note before coming to the Daily Scrum will help
- 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
- 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)
- Teach the team members to say a story. No one remembers ticket numbers. Call out the PBI you were working on
- Try using a talking stick to streamline the conversation to round robin conversation
- 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
- Don’t use an electronic tool.
- 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 !!