Getting More Out Of Your Daily Scrum: The 5 Discussions Your Team Should Be Having

The Daily Scrum is an absolutely necessary part of Scrum. However, it’s not really about those 3 questions we all know and love:

  1. What have you done since the last Daily Scrum?
  2. What are you going to do until the next Daily Scrum?
  3. Are any impediments standing in your way?

It’s about inspecting and adapting; collecting information (inspecting) and doing something with the information (adapting). Daily Scrum has gone by the name Daily Standup, which is no longer in favor and Regular Sync-Up which is gaining favor.

Here are 5 discussions that naturally percolate to the surface during the Daily Scrum.

  1. The Re-Plan Existing Work Discussion

Re-plan-work Daily ScrumThe most important kind of discussion and one that often directly follows the Daily Scrum, is a tactical re-­planning session. This is the discussion where the tactical agility takes place; this is where the Team really exercises its self-­organization and self-­management, (read Successful Teams Swarm).

When a Team is Swarming, they need to know which Coordinators need help from the Swarmers and which Swarmers are available to help. The Team Members need to know what they’re going to do today. There’s really no magic to this. Simply have a discussion amongst the Team Members about who’s going to do what today, who needs help and who’s available. When this discussion is over, all the Team Members walk away knowing what they’re going to do today or, at least, what they’re going to be doing right now. That’s it, that’s all, that’s enough.

  1. The Impediment Removal Discussion

Impediment-Removal-Daily-ScrumThe second most common type of discussion that the Team may have after the Daily Scrum is an Impediment Removal session.  In this discussion the ScrumMaster works with the Team Members who have impairments in order to help them figure out how to remove, or bypass, them.

In order to do this, the impediment must be thoroughly discussed to determine what’s really going on. The key questions is “Why it is an impediment?” and what the Team wants done about it. The goal is to figure out what the Team’s plan of attack is, and then have the Team go and execute this plan. Frequently, the Product Owner will be involved in this discussion for one of two reasons. One, the Product Owner will help remove the impediment. Two, the Product Owner will negotiate with the Team Members about the balance between effort spent on the impediment, effort spent on the Story that’s being impeded. There remains a possibility that other Stories won’t get Done and that will impact the conversation.

  1. Intraspective-Regular-Sync-UpThe Intraspective Discussion

The ScrumMaster may have noticed or heard something during the Daily Scrum that requires an Intraspective. The purpose of an Intraspective is to discuss a particular issue, activity or event in order to figure out if changes in the Team’s practices are needed.

  1. Product-Focus-Daily-StandupThe Product Focused Discussion

TeamLets that are Swarming need to have discussions about their Stories.  For example, they need architecture discussions, design discussions, interface discussions and test design discussions. At the Daily Scrum the TeamLet should tell the rest of the Team that they’re having these discussions.

  1. The Scope Negotiation Discussion

Daily Scrum Inspect and AdaptOccasionally, it is necessary to negotiate a change in scope with the Product Owner during the Sprint. This can happen either because the Team isn’t going to finish all it agreed to. Or because the Product Owner needs to add or change scope. During the Daily Scrum, either the Product Owner or an affected Team Member should bring up the fact that a change in scope is necessary, and the ScrumMaster and the Team should figure out when to have a discussion about this.

This discussion may not need to occur immediately. Urgent scope changes, how much time remains in the Sprint and how many Stories are not started yet. If the scope change causes a modification to the Sprint Goal, any subsequent discussions will have to include the Stakeholders.

These 5 discussions may not happen every day, but a Scrum Team, on their continuing journey to becoming Well-Formed, will engage in them frequently.

Looking for ways to get more out of your Daily Scrum? We’ve got training for that.

As Always, Stay Agile.