Daily Scrum- For the Team, By the Team

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The first time I learned about the scrum framework I interpreted the daily scum as a check-in meeting where team members report on what they had done the day before, what they planned to do, and any impediments that they had. I know a couple of others thought the very same and I approached it with that mindset. Well thanks to truly being committed over the years to developing my skillsets, I have spent a lot of time reading and learning from the experts in Scrum and can now share the knowledge with others that are possibly new entrants to the field. The daily scrum is not a status meeting. When you approach it like that, you move from the goal of self-organization into a more controlled style of leadership. The purpose of the daily scrum is to be able to apply the empirical process of inspecting and adapt. The stand-up (or daily scrum) meeting is used by the team to inspect their progress toward the spring goal and to be able to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours. It helps to promote the scrum principle of self-organization and to create incremental value. The team inspects their progress and adapts to the spring backlog and this meeting helps them stay accountable to each other not to the Scrum Master. It makes a difference when it is approached with this perspective as it becomes a form of empowerment for the team.

The daily scrum helps maximize transparency which in turn enables consistent inspection and adaptation. This is significant when dealing with the level of complexity and unpredictability that is common with software development. The development team is responsible for creating the working software in incremental stages and they all need to know what’s going on even when it is good or bad information or new learning gained from the past 24 hours of working on the sprint goal. The whole team can benefit from this information. If the development team feels like they are reporting to someone else, then transparency may suffer for fear of blame and reprisal. Instead, the daily scrum is best used by the scrum team to assess their progress in the context of the sprint, identify potentially new work that may endanger the sprint goal, etc. They can then discuss and adapt the plan if they have issues that are slowing down their progress and preventing them from moving forward to meet the sprint goal.

Therefore, by switching the focus from a traditional meeting about what tasks are done, instead, focus attention on the progress toward the sprint goal and providing valuable outcomes for the business. The daily scrum promotes collaboration as the development team is aware of their progress, the capabilities of their other team members, and the focus becomes shared accountability that provides the opportunity for enhanced collaboration.

A colleague once referred to the daily scrum as their collaborative planning session where no single individual owns the plan. The development team owns the plan and they create, inspect, and adapt it so the focus is on the collaborative whole. What are your thoughts? What approach do you take with your daily scrum meeting as a team and are you inspecting, adapting, and focusing on valuable outcomes?

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SFB Developments is a family of Agile thinkers, Problem Solvers, and Value Creators. Our commitment to the Agile mindset leads our daily practice and process regardless of the project, process, and industry.

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