Tag Archives: Scrum rules

Pitfall of Scrum: Problem-Solving in the Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum should not be used to find solutions to problems (obstacles, impediments) raised. Instead, keep the meeting very short and have those problem-solving conversations afterwards with only those who are interested. The ScrumMaster facilitates this meeting to keep it on track. The Daily Scrum is timeboxed to a maximum of 15 minutes, but often should be even less. With a good physical task board, a Daily Scrum can often be done in less than a minute simply by each team member pointing at the pieces of work they are working on.

From the Scrum Guide:

The Development Team or team members often meet immediately after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions, or to adapt, or replan, the rest of the Sprint’s work.

In other words, don’t have those discussions during the Daily Scrum! The Daily Scrum is essential to creating transparency and implementing the Scrum value of Openness. The three questions of the Daily Scrum are effectively:

  1. What did I do since the last time we checked in as a team?
  2. What am I planning to do before the next check in time?
  3. What impediments, if any, are preventing us from getting our work done?

Each member of the team takes a turn and answers those three questions. This doesn’t have to be completely stilted, but it should be Focused (another value of Scrum) and efficient so that the need for other meetings is minimized. Accomplishing this takes some practice. The ScrumMaster helps the team to keep the timebox, but at first, a team might have challenges with this.

Struggling with the Daily Scrum

There are a some common reasons that a team might struggle with wanting to problem solve in the Daily Scrum:

  • One team member doesn’t know what to do next and it devolves into re-planning right there and then. A quick suggestion or two is probably fine, but it is a very steep slippery slope. A team can easily get into the habit of always doing this! The ScrumMaster needs to be vigilant about recommending that the discussion be taken up after the Daily Scrum is concluded in order to avoid this pitfall. This suggestion will be common when a team is first starting out.
  • One person mentions an impediment that someone else knows how to solve… and a third person has a different idea of solving it. In this situation it is much better for interested team members to just simply indicate “I have an idea for that,” and let the Daily Scrum continue. Then after the Daily Scrum those people have a quick discussion. This avoids wasting the time of everyone on the team with something that is only interesting to a few.
  • An individual doesn’t seem to have anything to report and other team members try to elicit more information. This should really be something that the ScrumMaster or the team’s coach should take up with the individual. It may be that there is an impediment that the person is uncomfortable sharing openly with the whole team. There is a subtle pitfall that may be revealed here: that the team does not have the safety to self-organize.
  • Disagreement about what to do next. This type of problem is the hardest to deal with because many people will feel that disagreements need to be resolved before any action can be taken. A good ScrumMaster will actually encourage competing ideas to be attempted. Learn by doing instead of by argument and analysis. This is the fundamental shift in culture that Scrum is attempting to put in place: an empirical approach to work rather than a defined approach.

Just beware: yet another pitfall (although not common) is to decide that the Daily Scrum shouldn’t be daily because it is taking so long. Unfortunately, making this change will often just make the meetings even longer until they devolve back into weekly status meetings reporting to the team lead!!! Remember that it’s not Scrum anymore if your team doesn’t meet together daily.

Ultimately, if a team is struggling with the Daily Scrum in any way, this is a valid topic for discussion in the Sprint Retrospective.

This article is a follow-up article to the 24 Common Scrum Pitfalls written back in 2011.


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
BERTEIG Real Agility Series: Kanban vs. SAFe - FULL!
Online
C$0.00
Feb 26
2019
Details
Coach Skills for the Agile Workplace®
Toronto
C$2018.00
Mar 11
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1395.00
Mar 12
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1695.00
Mar 14
2019
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1525.00
Mar 18
2019
Details
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner® (PMI-ACP) with PMI SWOC
London
C$1795.00
Mar 23
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Mar 25
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Mar 26
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Mar 26
2019
Details
Kanban Management Professional® (KMP II)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Mar 28
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Apr 2
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Apr 5
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Apr 9
2019
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM)
Regina
C$1600.00
Apr 11
2019
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (ACSM)
Online
C$1599.00
Apr 12
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Apr 12
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Apr 13
2019
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (ACSM)
Online
C$1599.00
Apr 13
2019
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Mississauga
C$1525.00
Apr 15
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Apr 16
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Apr 17
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Apr 24
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
May 7
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
May 8
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
May 14
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
May 15
2019
Details
Certified Agile Leadership® (CAL 1)
Toronto
C$2200.00
Jun 10
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jun 11
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jun 18
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jun 19
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jun 20
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jul 4
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jul 4
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jul 11
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jul 16
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jul 31
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jul 31
2019
Details
Kanban Management Professional® (KMP II)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Aug 1
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Aug 13
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Aug 21
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Aug 28
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Sep 11
2019
Details
Coach Skills for the Agile Workplace®
Toronto
C$2018.00
Sep 16
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Sep 17
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Sep 17
2019
Details