Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.
I have been an Agile coach for more than nine years and have worked in various Indian, American & European companies that develop software locally and internationally using Scrum. The clients of these companies have adopted Scrum and participate in the Daily Scrum meeting, assuming the role of Product Owner.
The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work. It’s not an opportunity to get a report on where the team is up to. It’s not an opportunity to ensure everyone is ‘busy’. Unfortunately, the three questions just tend to reinforce this perspective.
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- What (if anything) is blocking your progress?
The purpose of the 3 daily scrum questions is relatively simple and obvious. These questions are asked routinely first thing in the morning, which allows teams to assess: (1) how they performed in the last 24 hours and (2) what the next 24 hours look like.
This article tells the story of our experience implementing a shift in approach during the Daily Scrum meeting. We went from a typical approach centered on each individual to one centered on each story of the Sprint Backlog.
The 2020 version of the Scrum Guide dropped the classic “three questions” of the Daily Scrum. Yet many teams stick with the practice, even when it doesn’t produce the collaboration that is the hallmark of a valuable Daily Scrum. When a Scrum Team I worked with said that their Daily Scrum was lackluster and unproductive, I challenged them to design a better one. The new pattern we created shifted the focus from individual action to team collaboration toward the Sprint Goal.
Smarter questions for the Daily Scrum
Scrum isn’t prescriptive about the way Developers run their Daily Scrum. Importantly, going ‘around the room’ and ‘standing up’ isn’t required. Some useful questions to raise at the Daily Scrum include:
Questions about scope
- Do we need to change some of the work we have in the Sprint so we achieve the Sprint Goal?
- Do we need to change some of the tasks we decided need doing?
- Do some of the backlog items we chose need to be put aside because we now know they don’t help us achieve the Sprint Goal?
- Do we need to negotiate scope with the Product Owner to help us achieve the Sprint Goal?
Questions about collaboration
- Does anyone need their work peer reviewed yet?
- Does anyone need help today?
- What pairing activities will we do today?
- Whose turn is it to pair with the new team member?
Questions about transparency
- Have we updated the board to show our actual progress?
- Is the Sprint Backlog up to date?
- Is the status of work up to date?
Questions about metrics
- How are we tracking toward the Sprint Goal? Are we where we thought we’d be?
- What do our burndown metrics say about our progress?
- What does our cycle time metrics say about whether we’ll complete the work by the end of the Sprint?
- Questions about Done
- What work is in-progress that we can work on today and get to Done?
Questions about learning
- Did anyone learn anything yesterday that means our work for today needs to change?
If the traditional “three questions” Daily Scrum doesn’t provide value for your team, try something new. Create a collaborative discussion focused on making each day a valuable step toward the Sprint Goal.
If you came across similar situations , please share your experience in the comments section.
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