Daily Scrum: Top 5 Myths
Take a look a critical look at what you know about the Daily Scrum ceremony and see if you have been practicing some of these myths.
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The Daily Scrum is an important inspect and adapt event for the Development Team. The Development Team devises its day plan during the Daily Scrum, what needs to be done to accomplish/make progress towards the Sprint goal.
As much important as the Daily Scrum is, there are as many myths and misconceptions associated with it. Here are the top 5 myths that I have observed in my experience.
Myth #1: Daily Scrum is a Stand-Up Meeting
This is the most common myth about Daily Scrum. The Scrum Guide does not mandate the Development team to stand during the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is a short and focused event time-boxed to 15 minutes; the practice of standing-up was/is used by many teams to keep it that way. However, the practice has now become a habit and people have started believing that a Daily Scrum needs to be done "standing-up".
Myth #2: Daily Scrum Is Status Update Meeting
The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect and adapt the Development Team's progress towards the sprint goal.
From the Scrum Guide:
"The Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team...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."
As is clear, there is no one else needed besides the Development Team during the Daily Scrum, and in a Development Team everyone is a peer, with no hierarchy; hence no lead, no manager, and no status updates.
It is an event for the Development Team to collaborate with each other.
Myth #3: Three Questions Need to Be Answered During the Daily Scrum.
From the initial versions of the Scrum Guide, these three questions:
- What I did yesterday......
- What I am going to do today.......
- Any impediments.....
have been used by teams as a de facto standard to run the Daily Scrum. Although there have been updates to Scrum guide and a lot of emphasis is given on the fact that Daily Scrum is planning, event teams continue to use it.
In the latest version (November 2017) of the Scrum Guide, it has been made very clear that the Development Team can use any format for the Daily Scrum as long as the focus is on the progress towards the Sprint Goal. The three questions are mere a template, just one of the ways to get started with Daily Scrum.
Myth #4: Daily Scrum Is Used for Solving Problems
Have you ever attended a Daily Scrum which lasted for 30 minutes or more? I have. One of the teams that I was working with used to run their Daily Scrum for 30 minutes every day and I was perplexed to see the poor state of Daily Scrum.
The reason? They used to bring all their challenges to the table and tried to solve them during the Daily Scrum as they assumed that Daily Scrum is the only event when they should do so.
The Daily Scrum should be used to identify/highlight/flag the problems, impediments; they shouldn't be solved during the Daily Scrum.
From the Scrum guide:
The Development Team or Development Team members often meet after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions or to adapt, or replan, the rest of the Sprint's work.
Myth #5: No One Can Attend the Daily Scrum but The Development Team
Yes, a Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team. Yes, the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. But anyone who is interested in understanding on how the team is making progress towards the Sprint Goal can attend the Daily Scrum.
Anyone can attend but only the Development Team participates in the Daily Scrum. If others are attending the Daily Scrum then it is the responsibility of the Scrum Master to ensure that they do not disrupt the Daily Scrum.
What are the myths that you have experienced around Daily Scrum?
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