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)
- What did you do yesterday? (or, What did I accomplish yesterday?)
- What will you do today? (or, What will I do today?)
- 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)
- What you did to change the world yesterday? (or, What did you accomplish since the last meeting?)
- How you are going to crush it today? (or, What are you working on until the next meeting?)
- 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
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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