Purpose of the Daily Scrum

What is the purpose of the Daily Scrum?

First, how often do we have one? Obvious — daily! Well, apparently not so obvious to all. Some people think we need one twice a week.

Let’s go back to the purpose.

The purpose is to enable the team to make micro-adjustments in any dimension to land the plane more successfully. The Daily Scrum gives the team the essential information they need to self-organize, self-manage and self-direct themselves daily.

What does ‘land the plane’ mean? To deliver the team’s commitment (or promise) made in Sprint Planning to deliver eight stories that Sprint. (Well, it might have been more than eight stories, and in any case would probably have been based on yesterday’s Weather, i.e., the average team Velocity.)

What does ‘more successfully’ mean? Well, all eight stories are done, first. Higher quality, less technical debt and maybe another story, or at least another story started, and given the usual ‘stuff happens’ around here (as it always does).

So, who is making the micro-adjustments? Well, anyone on the team. Probably really everyone on the team, both consciously and sub-consciously.

What a Daily Scrum should not be:

  • Another stupid wasteful meeting
  • A status meeting for the ScrumMaster
  • A time to brag about all the wonderful things I did yesterday
  • An endless discussion of, and attempt to fix, several impediments (with all team members present) [A couple of people might meet after the Daily Scrum to attack one or two impediments.]
  • A time to hide the truth, because God knows what those stupid people might do with it

Why Daily?

We work each day, so the situation is always changing because a serious impediment could arise any day, and often we don’t recognize the impediment until we get together and see the impact on the team. There is a saying: “Take care of the small problems and the big problems will take care of themselves.” Maybe not always true, but this might be one hypothesis behind the Daily Scrum. If we fix the small problems when they are small, they do not grow to become big problems.

Related to this is that the bad news does not get better with age. So, identify it quickly and hopefully fix it quickly, before the bad news becomes worse.

What do you mean ‘micro-adjustments’?

  • Anything, really, that can help us be more successful
  • Working together more or differently
  • Being more in-sync as a team
  • Getting new information
  • Fighting over a problem
  • Asking for help
  • Fixing an impediment
  • Getting clarification of a mini-feature
  • Reviewing the automated testing
  • Etc., etc.

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Once they see the bigger purpose of the Daily Scrum, they usually use it better.

 

 

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