Daily Scrum Withdrawal

I remember reading an article by Stacia Broderick a while back on Daily Scrum Meetings.  Thankfully my team are not like to one described but it did make me think about the way I conduct my Daily Scrum Meeting at the moment.

This quote in particular was interesting.

Many teams really, truly believe that the purpose of the daily standup* is to “just answer the three questions without exceeding fifteen minutes.” Maybe it’s that the questions seem so simple. They are not. There is so much underneath the surface of the three little questions. Coach your team to think about these questions and come prepared to the daily standup.  In other words, think about the tasks, the accomplishments, how it may impact John’s work or Mary’s next task, and keep in mind who you are working with to complete the task. Go into the daily standup with answers to the three questions that are meaningful, insightful, and proactive.

Maybe I will task my team to come prepared to the Daily Scrum to apply more detail to the tasks, accomplishments and problems that they have and how this would effect others in the team.

I think this would also work well for us as our Product Owner is based in Boston and the team is based in Glasgow, so the more useful information that is given, the more informed the Product Owner will be.

Daily Standup Withdrawal

Daily Scrum Mistakes.

After researching techniques that would improve my Daily Scrum.  I thought I would highlight some mistakes that can occur within a Daily Scrum Meeting that you can further improve to make your Daily Scrum more appealing.

I read an article on “Scrum from the Trenches” Daily Scrum Mistakes  that echo’s some of the sentiments felt by myself.

The first mistake that people often make are to over run the allocated 15 minutes.  This can cause people to lose focus on what the Daily Scrum meeting is truly about.

The second mistake that people make, and I myself allow this to happen on occasion, is that Team members are effectively Reporting Status to the Scrum master.  Many people look at the Scrum Master whilst giving their status rather than giving a status report to the whole team.  I try to not make eye contact with the person speaking as to avoid it being a status update aimed at myself, rather than to the whole team.  The Scrum Master is part of the team and holds no managerial authority, so therefore a status update should be aimed at the whole team and not just the Scrum master in general. 

Leading back to my first point about the allocated 15 minutes. Remember the Daily Scrum is a status meeting.  It is very easy for a Daily Scrum to become a design meeting when one person is describing difficulties that they are having.  The Scrum Master has to be aware of this and limit technical and design discussions.  encourage Team Members to take their discussions “offline” and discuss the possible solutions after the Daily Scrum. 

The best possible way to conduct the Daily Scrum is to have the attendees standing up.  If the Team are sitting down, they become more formalized and meetings tend to run over.  If the Team are standing the meeting becomes more efficient due to people wanting to have the meeting done and dusted quickly so that they can sit down again! 

One problem that I had in the past with my team was that we were always being drawn into design and technical meetings in our Daily Scrum.  The Scrum Master must be firm on this.  I see myself as a nice guy, but at the beginning I was too nice for my own good.  I was worried that continually interrupting these meetings, would see me as being labeled rude.  But I soon realised that the team were labeling the meetings as laborious as they continually over ran.  So therefore I had to step in and limit the design and technical discussions until after the meeting.

we now have a designated time where we allow converse with interested parties after the Scrum meeting where Team Members can gain clarification on requirements of discuss problems with other team members.  I would say that this has improved our efficiency overall as the Daily Scrum is useful again and not laborious.