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How to do a Daily Scrum Right with Seven Statements

When we manage projects, a difficult task in Scrum is doing the daily scrums correctly. It may seem trivial, but having the daily sorted day by day, in several projects, at the same time, with different clients can become rapidly difficult. Knowing the status of a particular task or what a certain person is doing or was doing on a specific day may be difficult to track on complex projects.

By following Scrum’s official guide and doing some additional research, we can offer seven statements which will help dailies work as indicated by the Scrum framework.

1. Is not recommended to take notes in a Daily Scrum.

Oddly enough, it does not recommend taking notes during a daily scrum, as this creates waste (MUDA) according to Lean. The most important thing is to know whether or not the Sprint Goal is reached among the entire developer team.

Also, the Scrum Masters are not scribes. If the Development Teams need someone to take notes, then one of them should do so. If they need something to track the tasks that came out of the discussion, consider a board where they can add/remove tasks as needed and create them as they discuss it during the Daily Scrum.

So, in simple words, in the way to know whether or not the Sprint Goal is reached among the entire developer team, if someone in the Developer Team takes some notes limit that to only questions related to transparency, inspection and adaptation: “How does this new insight affect our Sprint Goal?”, “What new work needs to be made transparent?” or “What can we today to help each other achieve the Sprint Goal?”.

2. The objective of the Daily Scrum is to analyze whether we will get to the Sprint Goal or not.

It is very common for scrum dailys to become a status meeting, where each participant attends with the idea of ​​showing they are working. In order to prevent this, The Scrum Master needs to promotes self-organization with the Developer Team, amplifies transparency, enables frequent inspection and adaptation and enables focus on achieving an outcome.

The real objective of the Daily Scrum is to analyze the Sprint Goal and know if we will be able to achieve it or not.

If we are not going to achieve it, we must discuss it with the Product Owner to renegotiate the elements and make the objective viable.

3. Only those who need to be present at the Daily Scrum must be present.

The only people who should attend the Daily Scrum are the members of the Development Team. According to the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum is owned by the Development Team. The output of the Daily Scrum consists of a daily plan and (potentially) adjustments to the Sprint Backlog that are needed to reach the Sprint Goal.

“Although the Scrum Master can be present to help facilitate the Daily Scrum, this is not required. The Scrum Master ensures that a Daily Scrum takes place, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the meeting

Any other interested party may attend as listeners, but they are not required to take place and as long as they are useful to the development team.

By acting as a listener you can facilitate the resolution of impediments. In addition, it is imperative not to use the event as a way of controlling the Development Team.

4. There is no Project Manager in Scrum.

This is a big common mistake for a people who don’t know too much about the scrum framework, and agile, for that matter. There is no Project Manager role in Scrum. What happend to that old role in Scrum? That depends on the company. In some companies, the duties of a Project Manager gets split between the Product Owner, Scrum Master and the Development Team and the PM assume the role of Scrum Master or the role of Product Owner, with due training. In others, the role does not exist. According to one of the Principles of the Agile Manifiesto.

“The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”

So, one person can’t be having all the responsabilities for the portfolio, projects and products.

Does that mean you don’t need a project manager in your company? NO. That’s not what I mean. You need it for other kind of projects that are not Scrum: Kanban Projects, Waterfall Projects, UX Projects, Hybrid projects who use a blend of Waterfall and Agile (Flexible Development and Thorough Project Planning), Bimodals projects with traditional Waterfall combined with Agile, Six Sigma Projects, Lean Projects, Hibrid projects between Lean and Six Sigma, Kaizen Projects…and someone has to control the overlapping of the Extreme Programmers, in case you have it.

5. Create an “effective listening” environment for the Daily Scrum

Effective listening, which is simply a more active way of listening, is a process that involves listening with the whole body, including the ears, eyes, heart, and brain.

To listen efficiently, you need to have the right environment, with includes:

  • The environment should be free of prejudice, ridicule and talk related with the objective of the meeting.
  • No interruptions and no arguments should be expected until a person finishes speaking.
  • The enviorment should be as quiet as possible, to allow the appropriate person to speak without interruption.

It is difficult to do this remotely, so the scrum guide does not advise performing remote dailys. However, more and more dailies are being done remotely nowadays. In those cases, everyone must have the camera turned on and respect the previous points.

6. Someone in the Development Team has to control the Daily time-box.

The Daily Scrum should last 15 minutes, according to the Scrum Guide. It cannot last longer in order to reduce the complexity inherent in the project.

A timer visible to all members of the developer team at the moment of the Daily Scrum is the best option to keep track of the time. Anyhow, someone in the team has to control and enforce the time box. It would be better if it is the same person every-time, to reduce the complexity.

7. The Project metrics and Sprint Metrics should be visible all the times.

The project and product metrics must be visible all the time, so that the developers can visualize the state of progress of the product, its dependencies or even any possible failure that may occur due to dependencies; As well as the Product Owner can make decisions about the product.

It is common that everything is visible in a panel in view of the members of the Development Team and the Product Owner.

  • The product metrics must be updated to the expiration day, the next day of the previous daily.
  • The project metrics should be updated at the end of every sprint.

References

Rajani Dixit, & Brij Bhushan. (2019). Scrum: An Agile Software Development Process and Metrics. Journal on Today’s Ideas — Tomorrow’s Technologies, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.15415/jotitt.2019.71005

Altexsoft.com. (2020) Agile Project Management: Best Practices and Methodologies. https://www.altexsoft.com/whitepapers/agile-project-management-best-practices-and-methodologies/

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Ivana Yael Currá

Ivana Yael Currá

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Project Manager, Developer, System Engineer with a Master in IT, Animation Student and Anime enthusiast