The Real Daily Scrum

On many occasions, I have observed “Scrum Masters” and even “Product Owners” attempting to drive what they understand to be the Daily Scrum. Just this morning, I witnessed a “Daily Scrum” in which a “Product Owner” gave the team a bunch of program updates and made sure that each team member had tasks to work on for the day. Then, the PO “wrapped up” the meeting and left the team to get to the work. I then stayed and observed what the team did next. They actually stayed together to discuss the work and figure out how they were going to organize themselves for the day. I then went over to the Product Owner and whispered in her ear that the team was now doing the real Daily Scrum. She said “Oh,” and promptly walked over to find out what was going on. I then observed her from a distance nodding her head several times while appearing to understand what the team was talking about. I’m not sure if she understood or not, but that’s irrelevant. The point is that the Daily Scrum is for the Development Team to inspect and adapt its progress towards the Sprint Goal and decide how it will self-organize for the coming day. If the Development Team decides as a result of the Daily Scrum that it needs to re-negotiate any previously forcasted functionality with the Product Owner, then that conversation can certainly happen at that time.


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2 thoughts on “The Real Daily Scrum”

  1. Travis,

    Thanks for the great story showing a very common thing to see happen in large, process oriented environments. Cargo Cult comes to mind.

    I sometimes see teams have their real Daily Scrum where they re-organize and make decisions before the more “formal” one that they have to do. They often don’t realize they’ve already done it (and often in much less than 15 minutes).

    It’s rewarding as a coach to find ways to help them (or the organization) recognize this and decide to adjust the way they handle this.

    I am curious….

    Does this team have the ability to change their situation?

    Are the Scrum Masters able to recognize this situation and coach effectively?

    What kind of techniques are you trying out to help them recognize and find approaches for themselves to sustain them into the future to keep questioning this type of activity?

    Perhaps the question is far too open ended. If so, which of these would you like to elaborate on (if any) ? Is there something else you’d like to add based on my questions ?

    Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention.

    Mike Caspar
    Passionate About Agile

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