Daily Scrum – goal, moderation and output.

First let’s introduce

The theory…

We can find in Scrum Guide :

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?

But during Daily Stand-up meeting, in spite of its name, is not important that you are standing or even that it should happen every day, last no more than 15 minutes, not even these three questions, sometimes not even a synchronisation is needed… I believe the most important part is to create a plan.

Daily stand-up is a planning meeting!

We should read Scrum guide further.

The Development Team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog.

The Daily Scrum optimizes the probability that the Development Team will meet the Sprint Goal. Every day, the Development Team should understand how it intends to work together as a selforganizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment by the end of the Sprint.

I can fully agree with that.

Daily Scrum meeting purpose, is to inspect progress towards the Sprint Goal!

The Development Team or team members often meet immediately after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions, or to adapt, or replan, the rest of the Sprint’s work.

Those are, so called, “follow-ups”. Commonly, during the Daily Scrum meeting, long and complex technical discussions should not be performed. Typically, during the Daily Scrum Team Members should signalise others need for detailed discussion and discuss later on.


The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum.

I cannot agree with that.

I believe that Scrum Master responsibility is to remove any obstacles, so that the meeting can take place, but not exactly to ensure, that the meeting will happen. This is a big difference…

There is that phase in team development, when team members don’t want to have a Daily meeting (or any other meeting in fact). Sometimes it happens right at the beginning, when team members do not fully understand the meaning of Daily Scrum in their work, sometimes it happens, when they work close enough to feel that they are synchronised and they don’t need it, and sometimes this is just childish defiance.

A Daily meeting is not for the Scrum Master, Daily is for the Team, and if the Team doesn’t feel like having Daily Scrum meeting, don’t force it!

The Scrum Master teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.

Yes I can agree with that! 🙂 Scrum Master teaches.

I can also agree that time-boxing is useful. But if your Team is already well educated and aware of a meeting goal, yet longer discussions still happen during the Daily Scrum, and it is obvious that everyone need them, this is maybe the time to experiment a little bit… But about that later.


The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum.

Does that mean that the Scrum Master can’t say anything during it?


Daily Scrums improve communications, eliminate other meetings, identify impediments to development for removal , highlight and promote quick decision-making, and improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge. This is a key inspect and adapt meeting.

We’ve managed through some theory, now we will sum up and listen to some arguments:

Meeting goal

 

  • Daily stand-up is a planning meeting! But also a key inspect and adapt meeting.
  • It is used to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog.
  • It is used by the Development Team to synchronize their activities.
  • The Daily Scrum optimises the probability that the Development Team will meet the Sprint Goal.
  • The Daily Scrum gives Development Team opportunity to understand how it intends to work together as a self-organising team to accomplish the Sprint Goal
  • Daily Scrum improves communication.
  • Helps to identify impediments to development for removal, highlight and promote quick decision-making.
  • Improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge.

Meeting moderation

 

  • Scrum Master responsibility is to remove any obstacles, so that the meeting can take place, but not exactly to ensure, that meeting will happen.
  • The Daily Scrum is not for the Scrum Master, Daily Stand-up meeting is for the team, and if the team doesn’t feel like to having a Daily Meeting, don’t force it.

What if your team doesn’t want to have a Daily Scrum?

 

  • Make sure that they understand the benefits of being aware of progress in realisation Sprint Goal and being synchronised. If they understand that, let them not having a Daily Stand-up.

Synchronisation is essential for team work. You don’t need to superimpose extra control on your team. Trust me, that with time, your team will came up with its own way to synchronise.

  • Observe your team and notice examples when they haven’t been synchronised and when that fact has disorganised their work.
  • If team would not find its way to being synchronised you may use those examples as arguments, remind them about benefits of having a daily and propose another trial round with Daily Scrum meeting.

What about these three questions:

 

  1.  What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  2. What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  3. Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?

They are useful and it would be great if your team learn how to communicate effectively in such a way, that all these issues would be addressed during the Daily, but don’t try to change Daily Scrum meeting in Q&A session. That would quickly kill sharing-knowledge spirit.

  • It is a good practice to educate Team Members and help them to getting used to 15 minutes time boxes.

We all hate long meetings and we have all had that feeling, that meetings are destroying our concentration for a whole day. Keeping them short helps to concentrate on meeting goal and doesn’t leave that feeling of wasting your time.

  • Only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum rule.

That rule sound very strict. It reminds us that this meeting is for the Team, your presence is not demanded. My team wanted me to join, and always asks about my activities so I share with them.

  • Sprint Backlog and the Daily Stand-up meeting

It is not an obligation to stand in front of Scrum Table during Daily Stand-up, but it is very helpful, so many teams are starting to do it on their own.

If your team does not want to use Task Board, but you can see, that they should do, you can:

  • explain to them benefits of using Sprint Backlog during the Daily Stand-up,
  • educate them and help them to notice moments, in which they are having hard time during discussion (e.g. because they don’t remember scope of their task),
  • leave the decision to them.

Meeting output.

After the meeting the team should :

  • Have common understanding about team progress in realisation of a Sprint Goal.
  • Be aware if they will manage to complete all of the committed items on time.
  • Have knowledge about other team mates progress in their tasks
  • Share information if someone needs help with its task

Case study:

We don’t need a Daily Meeting!

My Team at the beginning of my work with them felt that Daily Scrum doesn’t bring them any benefits. They decided to not have a Daily at all… After about a Sprint, they understood, that they need to communicate more, but they still didn’t want to have a Daily Stand-up meeting.

We come up with the idea of Team-Breakfasts, on which, what we mostly do is small-talk and after we finish eating, we spare 5 minutes to talk about what we are planning to do today.

With time everyone got used to our breakfasts, but team felt the need to synchronise more. Half of the team is starting their work at 7 and other half at 9:45, so those who come up earlier, often don’t know what to do, to help most, in achieving Sprint Goal. We decided to have an additional afternoon synchronisation at 14:15 in form of Daily Stand-up meeting. We talk about what we have achieved since breakfast and if someone needs help, there is still time before end of a shift to sit down together and work against a problem.

At the end, the team which hated the Daily Scrum, ended up with having two! Moreover they are quite happy about that!

How did I manage to achieve that? I just did, what a good Scrum Master should do: actively did nothing! 🙂

 

If you would like to share your view please do so on: shootIT.com.pl


http://scrumguides.org/
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Meetings. Why I hate them?

Lets talk about meetings and why we hate them so much?

 

  • There is no goal sometimes
  • You rarely understand why you are here
  • They are full of other people who don’t understand why they are here
  • They are too long
  • You feel like you’re losing your time
  • There are too many of them
  • If someone else is conducting them you feel totally helpless you may only sit, observe that chaos and wait till the end
  • They are destroying your daily work and kill your concentration

Do you feel the same?

So why do we have them at all?

Well… they are a “must”. We have processes in our organisations which demands to be fed with meetings!

But don’t hang yourself yet! I will give you a few simple tips on how to make them more efficient!

Let’s start from the most important one:

There is no goal

Believe it or not but person who invited you really have a goal in doing that!  They may just not be aware of best way to achieving it.

If you are the host think about your time and all those people you’ve invited and find 10 minutes to prepare yourself to the meeting.

Think about your goal:

  • Why are you conducting this meeting?

  • What you would like to achieve? -> Do you have questions which need to be answered?

    • List these questions

    • Mark the most important ones (3 or less)

    • Mark the less important ones, which may be skipped without great loss

Meetings are overcrowded by people who don’t understand what you want from them.

Next, think about people you intent to invite and help them to prepare.

  • Is that person really needed?
  • Are they capable of answering your questions? -> Are your questions in line with your meeting-participants’ areas of expertise?
  • What kind of activity are you expecting from participants? -> Ideas, votes,  reaching out a consensus?

Consider your guest list and cross out participants who will not add any value to achieving meeting goal

If you are sure that you need all those who left, prepare a meeting agenda for them.

Write eg.

Goal -> We will meet to come up with new design for our logo

I invited you because -> You are the most experienced person in this kind of tasks.

In this meeting I would like to agree on:

  • What color-scheme should we use and why?
  • We would need new corporate motto to place under our logo. Prepare propositions!
  • What style should we use modern/classic/retro and how it fits to our organisation?

Please prepare your ideas earlier, we wouldn’t have much time to discuss them!

Now you and other participants have common understanding on what is meeting goal and how they may prepare to fully participate. Next thing you can do is set timeframes  and inform your participants about it:

Meeting timeframe:

Meeting will last 1h.

  • First question should take 5 min to reach a consensus
  • For second question we will have 20 minutes to talk about ideas witch you have prepared earlier
  • We should intend 10 minutes to collect arguments pro/con every style listed above

All time that left we intend for preparing first sketch, brainstorming and choosing who from your group will prepare few projects for us.

We will organise follow-up meeting to decide about final version.

Now your participants not only know how to prepare but also what they may expect from meeting. Thanks to adding that info to the agenda you will not have to waste time to explain it at the beginning of the meeting. And you won’t loose your time for arguing on how the meeting should look like. This is what I hate the most, when host itself has no idea how to conduct a meeting and starts long discussion about how we should handle this meeting… Don’t talk about how to do something, just do it!

Taking care about order of the meeting and interrupting monologs should be easier when every participant is aware of the schedule.

If you are not assertive yourself ask someone to be a time-keeper for you. Inform everyone at the beginning of the meeting that this person role is to inform that we used half of the intended time and loudly interrupt when we are getting out above schedule. If time-keeper role will be clear no-one should treat that person behavior as  rude.

Try to set realistic time-frames and don’t allow to break them. It will be hard at the beginning but with after few next meetings people will start getting used to it.

They will understand that, if they want to obtain something, they have to prepare earlier and follow your rules.

Thanks to that you will be able to make your meetings shorter in the future.

How about feeling that you are loosing your time?

If you would be inform about goal of the meeting and have opportunity to prepare yourself and time to say what you need to say on every subject. Would you still feel that?

I think that it would happen hardly ever.

What about “there is to many of them” paragraph?

Well not everything is up to you but having this agenda you may decide if your meeting is really needed… Maybe you may just send your expectations via email or personally give instructions to your coworkers? You may prepare short survey in which they could decide on easier,  less important  factors. Maybe they may prepare their own projects and send them back to you and all of you would only need  to meet on the follow-up meeting to make final decision? Those are the things, that are up to you!

We handled few points for now. Next two of them are connected.

There is to many meetings and you hate to participate in most of them.

Well you should start yourself at first to prepare your meeting agenda according those simple rules and fanatically follow them during the meeting.

When other people notice that it works and you all are able to reach a consensus on meetings that you host maybe they will start to be interested in what is your secret! 🙂

If you are afraid to act with those new rules, just send them this article before next meeting and explain that you would like to try this method in hope, that it will help all of you to get your task done on time or get your hour back!

And what with our last point?

“They are destroying your daily work and kill your concentration”

Well It is not that simple. Maybe we will find a way so solve that problem together?

Go on www.shootIT.com.pl and share your ideas with me!


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