Mobbing Team

The Daily Goal

When my Scrum team first proposed trying mobbing I wasn’t sure what to expect. No one on the team (including myself) was an expert. I reserved judgment and watched a few sprints. I stayed silent when the same team decided to skip the tasking out portion of planning and simply pulled in enough stories to fulfill their Sprint goal.

After a couple of sprints it became obvious that there were a number of pros; the team was engaged and aligned. They responded as a consistent, unified voice at Sprint Review and Retro. Planning went a lot faster as the team no longer wrote out all their tasks and didn’t have to copy all of them into Jira.

In particular, the Daily Standup’s usual agenda of “what did you do yesterday? what are you doing today? what are you doing tomorrow?” became redundant. And this had me thinking; ‘maybe the team didn’t need a stand up anymore? What’s the point?”

Then, one of the team members introduced me to the concept of the daily goal and I watched as he walked the team thru it. I thought this made a lot of sense and so did the team. We kept up the practice. Some days the team would forget about it or be too tired to bother. I noticed on those days the team wouldn’t be as clear on what they were working on or how to align on a particular challenge. I also noticed that the Stand Up the next day would be more fragmented and meander a bit. They would forget to communicate to one another and look at me as their Scrum Master expectedly, wanting me to drive it.

I started to coach the team back to their daily goal practice and reminded them this Stand Up was for them to align on the work ahead for the day. This became more important as the team divided up into mini mobs or pairs and were no longer one big mob.

I find the Daily Goal useful for a number of reasons. Instead of tasking out the work a week in advance, they decide how to approach the work on a daily basis that takes into account any day to day changes that have happened. Planning goes a lot faster now that we’re not tasking out all the work in advance. The team stays focused on a daily basis as opposed to at just Planning. They write their daily goal on their Scrum Board making it visible to anyone on the floor what their focus is for the day. Even better, the daily stand up as renewed purpose and the dialogue is more interactive.

Here are some examples of our Daily Goals:

  • Refactor Story 1
  • Coordinate with outside team members to align on test strategy
  • Complete happy path for Story 3
  • And sometimes it is as simple as “Complete story 4”

I hope to continue the practice and frankly, it’s fun! Achieving short time goals is motivating and brings a sense of accomplishment. I highly recommend it. Let me know your thoughts and if you’re trying this technique let me know how it’s working out for your team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Alexandra Dragon is a first-time contributor to Agile Advice – please welcome her in the comments.  And let us know if you are interested in contributing.]

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15 thoughts on “The Daily Goal”

  1. Hello Alexandra, thank you for sharing this story. I like how, as you described the Daily Goal, it brings focus to the specific tasks of the day. An interesting evolution of the Daily Scrum.

  2. Great advice! This approach sounds great for increasing daily productivity. I will pass along to my associates.

  3. Great strategy and a practice that many organizations should be to implementing. It also effectively highlights the importance of the leadership and communication required to be a successful Scrum Master. Great article, I hope to see more from this contributor!

  4. Agreed. A proper goal everyday may be the thing for a group to stay focused daily. Thanks for this Alexandra.

  5. Very useful tips not just for team/group management but for individual work goals as well. Will definitely be sharing this with my co-workers. Thanks!

  6. Thank you for sharing this, Alex. Looks like the daily goal focuses the team while allowing it maximum flexibility to self organize afresh around the day’s work.

  7. As a production supervisor for feature films. Thank you for breaking down the team sub divisions for a more focused thought process. Important when a a series of group goals, lead to a completion of a greater task.
    Will impress your theme with the various departs I am tasked with molding (Camera, Electric, Make Up, Hair, Props, etc)

    …one daily goal at a time.
    Thank you

  8. I like your article Alexandra. I’ve included it in the BERTEIG newsletter for the week of December 01. Do you receive the newsletter? If not, you can sign up through Agile Advice when the invitation pops up.
    Well done on the article! Keep up the good work!

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