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How to Conduct an Effective Daily Scrum?

October 05, 2010

The Daily Scrum is a 15 minutes time-boxed meeting that enables the Team to inspect and adapt on daily basis. It helps the Team to focus on the its plan for the Sprint (Sprint Backlog) and take appropriate actions immediately, where needed. The Daily Scrum is not a problem-solving meeting or for resolving issues. Issues raised during the Daily Scrum are taken offline, and dealt with by the relevant Team members after the daily Scrum.

The Daily Scrum Questions

During the daily Scrum each Team member answers the following three questions.

  1. What did I do yesterday?
  2. What am I going to do today?
  3. Are there any impediments or problems in my way?

The Team gains an excellent understanding of what work has been completed and what work remains by keeping the focus on what each person did yesterday and will accomplish today.

It is not a meeting for management

The daily Scrum is not a status update meeting. Management, stakeholders and the Product Owner may attend the meeting, but they can only listen. They can not disturb the flow of the meeting and ask questions as the Team members are talking to each other.

This meeting is not meant for management to gather status information. It is a meeting in which Team members discuss their commitments to each other and to the Sprint goal.

Meeting for the Team, by the Team

The daily Scrum is about synchronization, integration, and accountability. It is about transparency.

Each Team members reflects on the work he or she has accomplished the previous day and then discusses the focus for today. This is an important daily ritual for Team to inspect its progress and develop a plan moving forward. It is a critical Scrum ingredient.

The purpose of a daily Scrum up is simple - gather for less than 15 minutes a day to inspect and adapt. The team meets, synchronizes and devises plan for integrating its work work, finds out how they should work together, who needs help, who can help out others. The Team gets an overall picture of whether they are on track or not, to meet their Sprint goal.

The Scrum Master ensures that the Team conducts this meeting daily. But, the Team does all this on its own, as a self-organizing unit.

Learn more about Daily Scrum, Scrum Master, self-organizing Teams and Agile in one of Scrum Master Certification Courses.

© Faisal Mahmood

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