SCRUM BASICS

How to run a perfect Daily Scrum?

Have you ever had an unproductive daily?

You realized nobody is paying attention to what you’re saying and you are actually not paying attention to others either?
Have you ever had a daily that went on for almost half an hour, as if the fifteen minutes timebox was just a joke? I did.

And I know how painful and frustrating it might be. The best way to improve your Daily Scrum is to first understand what is it for. And get a shared understanding of it among the Scrum Team members.

So in this post, I will explain what it is and what it is for and then I will share some PRO tips to make the most of your Daily!

So what is a Daily Scrum?

It is a fifteen-minute meeting for the development team to plan the work for the day and get you closer to your sprint goal. It takes place every day of the Sprint, usually at the start of the day. It happens at the same place and same time, so it can become a habit.

What is the Daily for?

Let me find a comparison from real life. Imagine you have two weeks to paint a whole flat and you have a crew of seven people.

— In Scrum that would translate to having a two-week Sprint, the Sprint Goal is: To paint the whole flat, and the development team consists of seven people.

OK, so how do you distribute the work among those seven people each day? By making a daily plan! You meet in front of a plan, which in Scrum is called the Sprint Backlog, and distribute the work amongst each other. Everyone says what they will do, who needs help, and who is free enough to help others. This way you make sure you make the most progress towards your goal, which is painting the flat.

The structure of the Daily is free

Scrum Guide gives an example with the 3 questions, that are actually much longer than many may think:

  • 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?

But it is up to the Development Team to come up with a structure that suits you best. Some of the teams I work with like to ask themselves “What can we finish today?” and go diagonally through the Sprint board starting from what’s closest to be done and going back to what’s just been started. It’s called “walk the board”.

It’s up to you how you organize your Daily so it’s worth your while. Once you achieve it you will not imagine a day of work without it.

But it is up to the Development Team to come up with a structure that suits you best. Some of the teams I work with liked to ask themselves “What can we finish today?” and go diagonally through the Sprint board starting from what’s closest to be done and going back to what’s just been started. It’s called “walk the board”

It’s up to you how you organize your daily so it’s worth your while. Once you achieve it you will not imagine a day of work without it.

But it is up to the Development Team to come up with a structure that suits you best. Some of the teams I work with liked to ask themselves “What can we finish today?” and go diagonally through the Sprint board starting from what’s closest to be done and going back to what’s just been started. It’s called “walk the board”

It’s up to you how you organize your daily so it’s worth your while. Once you achieve it you will not imagine a day of work without it.

Here are some PRO tips to make the most of your Daily Scrum

  1. Make sure it is not a status meeting — you shouldn’t be reporting to a Scrum Master, a Product Owner or a manager, they are only optional participants of the daily, you do it for yourselves, the Development Team. In case you see that the team is reporting to someone, you close your eyes, and just say “I’m not even here!”, “I’m not participating”. It’s important you use it to make a daily plan and not report to anyone.
  2. Make it dynamic — Stand up — it used to be called a standup meeting — it is less comfortable and you will get it done faster.
  3. It’s not a time to go into long discussions — do highlight it if you are facing an issue but discuss it with the relevant people after the daily. I like to teach everyone to ask this magical question “Shall we take it after the daily?”. This is also a great way to decrease the amount of any additional meeting. Get it all done in the morning!
  4. Not paying attention when others speak ask yourselves, is it relevant to you? Are you discussing progress towards the Sprint goal or listing all the meetings you attended the day before? For a few days try to talk only about the progress towards the sprint goal and any important issues you are facing. No other talk. And check if the dynamic improves.
  5. You can also use an hourglass, set to one minute, and when it finishes, you need to stop wherever you are and pass it over to the next person — serves perfectly as a token!
  6. Digital detox box — sometimes we are also distracted by mobile phones. Store all the mobile phones in one place before any meeting, so they don’t distract anyone.

And that’s all for today. I hope this article will serve you well to understand the purpose of the Daily and take ownership to make the most of it.

Agile Coach and Content Creator at Agile State of Mind https://www.youtube.com/c/AgileStateofMind and RTE in OutSystems