There are good meetings and there are long meetings but there aren’t many good, long meetings. Therefore, Agile’s Daily Scrum event encourages self-evolving teams to meet daily, yet briefly. Strictly time-boxed to fifteen minutes duration, the Daily Scrum may also be called a morning roll-call, daily huddle, or a daily stand-up. Above all, you can use questions from a Daily Scrum to dramatically improve the quality of your regularly conducted staff meetings.

The Three Questions of a Daily Scrum 

Daily Scrum meetings provide team members insight about where each other focuses their activities. For instance, you may us the trivium format of yesterday, today, and tomorrow to modify questions that meet your needs, as illustrated below.

Classic Three Questions of a Daily Scrum (simple variants)

Daily Stand-up, Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum

  1. What did you do yesterday? (or, What did I accomplish yesterday?)
  2. What will you do today? (or, What will I do today?)
  3. Are there any impediments in your way? (or, What obstacles are impeding my progress?)

Motivational Version of the Three Questions of a Daily Scrum (implication)

  1. What you did to change the world yesterday? (or, What did you accomplish since the last meeting?)
  2. How you are going to crush it today? (or, What are you working on until the next meeting?)
  3. How you are going to blast through any obstacles unfortunate enough to be standing in your way? (or, What is getting in your way or keeping you from doing your job?)

Comments About a Daily Scrum

Therefore, use the same approach for your weekly or monthly staff meetings. Although not exhaustive, the approach of reporting on Yesterday > Today > Obstacles prevents scope creep. Additionally, standing, rather than sitting, ensures that meetings remain brief and discourages wasted time.

The daily Scrum does not provide the time and place to solve problems. Rather, the daily Scrum approach makes the team aware of its current status. If discussion is needed, a longer meeting with appropriate parties can be arranged. Topics that require additional attention should be deferred until every team member has reported.

Agile’s Daily Scrum strives to disrupt old habits of working separately. Self-organizing teams radically outperform larger, traditionally managed teams. Groups optimally sized from five to nine members who . . .

  • Commit to clear, short-term goals
  • Gauge overall progress
  • Observe each other’s contribution
  • Provide each other unvarnished feedback

Heterogeneous teams outperform homogeneous teams at complex work because they experience more conflict. An engaged team will disagree more frequently, indicating they  are normal and healthy. Team performance will be determined by how well the team handles these conflicts.

Remember to have members focus on WHAT they are doing. Discussions about WHY they are doing it should be deferred to a planning meeting. Discussions about HOW they are doing it should be deferred to a design meeting or technical discussion.

For us, WHAT someone does remains abstract while HOW they do it becomes concrete. WHAT we do in our daily lives is to ‘pay bills’.  HOW we do that varies, such as write cheques, submit cash, etc.

The Nexus Daily Scrum Questions[1]

Using the Nexus framework, multiple development team’s focus on the potentially shippable product increment and discuss:

  • Was the previous day’s work successfully integrated? If not, why not?
  • What new dependencies or impacts have been identified?
  • What information needs to be shared across teams in the Nexus?

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[1]  2018 Scrum.org. Offered for license under the Offered for license under the Attribution Share Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode and also described in summary form at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/. By utilizing this Nexus Guide, you acknowledge and agree that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms of the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons.

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Finally, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Some call this immersion. We call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation. Therefore, our training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH  Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH  for a current schedule.

Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. You will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE.

In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Monthly Facilitation blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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