Successful Agile development is principles over practice. Many an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Agile roles assure people the difference between doing Agile with being Agile. The Scrum Team’s Daily Stand Up is a practice that many adopt, try to do, but ultimately fail to understand the principle of being Agile in a daily Scrum.
The most widely practiced Agile method, is Scrum. The focus on incremental delivery, Agile software development using Scrum methods highlights team success dynamics. Across Agile and Scrum the key: everyday calibrate, shift, plan, and validate.
In the spirit of feedback and transparency, Scrum co-creators Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber revised the Scrum Guide and took the opportunity to introduce many of their thoughts on the state of Scrum in an excellent video, moderated by David West.
In this Scrum refresh I have a few items that I need to account and change, here is a first change, from this Scrum Guide Revision video:
The daily scrum has been one of the biggest problem-areas in Scrum. People have viewed it as ‘I’m just reporting my status’ and you go around the circle and everybody’s working whatever they are working on and nobody has any impediments and nobody is sharing or collaboration and it’s a waste of time and it doesn’t improve. Jeff Sutherland
The Stand Up has, most certainly, turned into a variety of approaches to doing Agile, but too few in the meeting are being Agile, with focus on the backlog itself.
These points come about 26 minutes into the video, see below for full video.
Stand Up for Your Ideas
Earlier this year I partnered with Scrum.org to develop the Software Development Diagram using Nexus scaled Scrum Development. At that time they presented a coaching opportunity to me for around the Daily Stand Up, a common Agile practice for daily development team focus on 24-hours at a time.
To enable rapid feedback and transparency the Daily Scrum is critical. The focus is on the Sprint goal to win this Sprint.
The Scrum.org concern about what the stand up had come to mean and many of the inefficiency measures adopted, for both practice as well as conditions such as distributed teams and colleagues with physical limitation to comfortably stand up. The event name change is Daily Scrum, very logical some things are.
Here are other nuggets for the Daily Scrum.
In 2013 we tried to focus on Scrum goal, will we win this Sprint. Now some look at the backlog or Scrum board and focus on what will move those stories the fastest to done? Jeff Sutherland
Development Team plans work for the next 24 hours. This optimizes team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecast upcoming Sprint work.
The structure of the meeting is set by the Development Team and can be conducted in different ways if it focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal. Some Development Teams will use questions, some will be more discussion based.
An example of the three questions each person answers:
- What I did yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
- What I will 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? Scrum Guide
The focus is on the Sprint Backlog, or Scrum Board, and focus might shift to the first story on the board or other creative approaches for entire team to get that done today.
The question intentions are:
- Find out where we were,
- [discover] how that compares with where we thought we would be, and
- [plan] what we are going to do that would best use our work for the next day to accomplish something that we thought we could do. Ken Schwaber
Inspect where we are today to what we said we would do and make adaptation[s] to what we’re going to do next to optimize our chances of delivering value. Ken Schwaber
The Daily Scrum is a key inspect and adapt meeting:
- The Development Team or team members often meet immediately after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions, or to adapt, or replan, the rest of the Sprint’s work. Scrum Guide
- The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. ibid
- The Scrum Master teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box. Daily Scrums:
- Improve communications,
- Eliminate other meetings,
- Identify impediments to development for removal,
- Highlight and promote quick decision-making, and
- Improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge ibid
Focus is to inspect and adapt within a 24-hour time-box, that will then incrementally meet the sprint or iteration goal. The development team focus is to move forward, collectively and collaboratively.
The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team. If others are present, the Scrum Master ensures that they do not disrupt the meeting. ibid
Next refresh focus is the Scrum Master role, itself.
Here is the Scrum Guide update review, a great way to see how the pioneers continue to learn and tune acceptance.
Links to the Scrum Guides:
- Scrum Guide Revision Slides .pdf
- Scrum Guide online,
- Scrum Guide .pdf in English,
- Scrum Guide translations list in over 30 languages
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