Daily Scrum? It’s a waste of time and interrupts my work.
Daily Scrum is just a chance for the ScrumMaster to show up and micromanage.
Daily Scrum is for reporting status, but I could do that in an email.
Have you heard these complaints before? I have. But I got a new version of it last week that disappointed me to the point that I have to respond:
I’m all for automating things that need automation, but let’s consider what this tool implies – that Daily Scrum is wasteful. The tool’s authors want to save team members the time that is spent talking to each other, and they imply that will be an “improvement”.
Sadly, that completely misses the point of Daily Scrum.
The Scrum Guide says:
The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours. This is done by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting the work that could be done before the next one. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity. During the meeting, the Development Team members explain:
· What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
· What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
· Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?
In my courses I tell people that Daily Scrum is intended to:
- Prepare the team for the day’s collaboration
- Help the team sense whether they will meet the Sprint Goal
- Find anything that is slowing the team down
None of these needs can be satisfied by an automated tool.
This activity can’t be properly completed over email or twitter – it needs to be held face to face because the purpose is only achieved effectively when your team is involved in a dialogue. (If your team is distributed, then real video conference makes an adequate and necessary alternative.)
If a team member complains that Daily Scrum is a waste of time (or a status meeting, or an opportunity for micro-management) remind the team of the meeting’s purpose, and then ask the whole team how they would like to re-organize the activity to achieve that. Perhaps the questions being asked don’t provide the focus? Then change the questions. Perhaps they feel that the standup has turned into a status reporting meeting? Then ask them how to make it about them instead.
As usual in Scrum, asking the team to find a way of solving the problem is far more valuable than just sweeping the problem under the rug – or, in this case, by switching to a tool.
Image attribution: Freepik