The Scrum Guide defines the Daily Scrum as a “15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours”.
Each person answers 3 questions:
- 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?
The Development Team leverages these 3 questions to inspect, self-organize and empirically adapt to deliver the Sprint Goal.
The above information is straight out of the Scrum Guide, but as we practice our Daily Scrum we just might meet up with some of these people, listed below, that will provide us some coaching opportunities.
I hope these examples are helpful for the person just starting to implement Scrum at their organization and a review for other experienced Scrum practitioners. Anyone who has any additional examples, please feel free to add them as a comment and we can build on the list!
Larry “Looking for a Leader”
Larry is 45 years-old and has been in IT for nearly 25 years. All of those years have been working in a strong command and control environment. He’s a very structured individual and a compartmental eater.
Larry looks directly at the Scrum Master while answering the 3 questions. This is a tell-tale sign that Larry is looking to provide a status report to a person in charge. He has not yet embraced the philosophy of a self-organizing and empowered empirical team. He should be speaking to the team and not any one person. Explain and reinforce the empowered empirical team through coaching, games and exercises.
Penelope “Problem Solver”
Penelope went to well-respected university and was a double-major in Computer Science and Philosophy. She doesn’t have much patience for useless formality or rules that get in her way. She loves to dive into the detail and solve problems. Her mantra is “Patience is a waste of time!”
Penelope conducts an immediate deep-dive into details surrounding information voiced during the Daily Scrum. When an issue comes up during Daily Scrum, she asks questions and begins to solve the problem on the spot. We need to coach Penelope and the team to list topics for further discussion in a parking lot or discussion list. When the Daily Scrum is done then you can identify who wants to participate in the discussions. There is no reason to involve teammates who are not interested in that topic. The conversations can be conducted right after the Daily Scrum or later as the team sees fit.
Nicholas “New Guy”
Nicholas is 22 years old. He just graduated college and joined the company about 3 months ago. He’s a little overwhelmed with all the things he needs to learn at the new job. He’s hardworking, but insecure about the amount of work he can get done in a day compared with his experienced teammates.
Nicholas talks about anything he can think about that he did in the day, so that his team will not think he is unproductive. He mentions the meetings with his manager and other non-sprint related activities. Nicholas and the team need to be reminded that they need not speak about non-sprint related activities during the Daily Scrum. They should only be speaking about information that pertains or impacts the sprint.
Sammy “Scrum Master”
Sammy was a project manager for 5 years until his company adopted Scrum and he transitioned to Scrum Master. Sammy likes nice orderly meetings and ensuring that the team is on track for delivery.
Sammy sets rules for the team, such as punctuality, no interrupting, etc. He sets the order in which people should speak to increase efficiency. Although rules are not necessarily a bad thing, the team should create rules of engagement and determine the speaking order on their own. We need to take every opportunity in having the team realize and practice that they are a self-organizing team. Conduct activities and games to fortify this concept. Try having the person currently speaking choose the next person to speak.
Priscilla “Product Owner”
Priscilla has worked for this company for 20 years. She is very intelligent and understands the sales and advertising business very well. She also loves technical work and is adept at pulling data and analyzing it. She always wants the latest technology solution and, even though she works in sales herself, is an easy sell.
Priscilla listens to the Daily Scrum, but cannot help advising the team on how to order their work effort to be more efficient. She questions remaining time on tasks and pushes the team regularly at the Daily Scrum. We need to counsel Priscilla that the Daily Scrum is for the Development Team to assess progress and figure out as a self-organizing team how to accomplish the Sprint Goal and deliver the agreed upon sprint backlog items by the end of the Sprint. As the Product Owner, Priscilla should not be interjecting during the Daily Scrum.