The Daily Scrum – a question
Srinivas sent me the following note:
Thanks to Joe and all of the attendees — I have learned a lot from all of you. I have a simple question — in the Daily Scrum meeting — if I understood it correctly, team members are expected to answer the three questions to the team — and not the ScrumMaster. Yes? How did you get them to do it? What I am finding is that the members are reporting to the ScrumMaster.”
How do we make a better Daily Scrum?
Yes, the three questions are answered by each ‘pig’ (including the Product Owner) to the whole team, not to the SM. (Don’t get too concerned about exactly where the eyes look, as long as the attitude is right.)
The SM is the master of ceremonies of the meeting — trying to keep it good, to the point, quick and useful.
Sometimes, to make the point, the SM stands outside the circle, so that they can’t look at him and can only look at each other.
Explain the purpose: To give the team members enough info each day to make mid-course corrections to ‘land’ all the promised stories by the end of the Sprint. Everyone can help make mid-course corrections of one sort or another. So, the purpose is for them — to enable the team to self-organize and self-manage and self-direct to success.
To stop the behavior you mention, the SM has to remind them to report to the team. Remind them of the purpose, and sometimes avert eye contact and sometimes step ‘outside’ the semi-circle of pigs.
If the SM is the former Project Manager, this is a hard switch for everyone, since the habit of ‘reporting’ to the PM may be well ingrained.