My team’s scrum master went on vacation for 3 weeks, and I was selected to cover his duties while he’s away. I had a head-start preparing for this, as I had taken over leading the daily stand-up for a couple of weeks already. Still, I feel that I don’t have enough knowledge yet, and hence I reached out for help from the book The Scrum Field Guide.
The book was quite enlightening, as I learned that we don’t follow the scrum process described in the book exactly, and the problems we face were quite common to those faced by other teams.
Here’s something I learned from the book about running daily stand-ups, which I would encourage the team to discuss during the next retrospective:
Running daily stand-ups more effectively
What the book says:
Daily stand-up is a 15min quick meeting where team members gather together to answer 3 questions:
- What they’ve accomplished
- What they’re working on or will accomplish that day
- Any impediments or issues that have cropped up.
Daily stand-up should run at the same time, everyday! The recommended time is 15-30mins after the last team member arrives in the morning; This will ensure people start the day fresh and ready to go
Stand-up needs to start and end on time; Members must arrive on time, no excuses. Scrum master or team should politely remind any latecomers that the rest of the team waited N minutes; If peer pressure doesn’t work, need punishment (ex. donation to fun fund, pick your own medicine, etc.)
Need to avoid rambles (usually means member came unprepared) and deep dives (should be discussed after the meeting); Team should have a hand signal to inform the scrum master or speaker to record the deep dive to be discussed afterwards.
Goal of stand-up is ultimately to encourage team collaboration and expose any problems preventing team from reaching the sprint goal; It should not be a daily project management status update;
How we are doing it:
We don’t answer the 3 questions; Instead we go through the list of stories on our sprint backlog, and the person assigned to that story reports the progress on it, as well as any blockers; Usually members would say, “yeah, it’s a work in progress.” or “I’m still working on it”. I don’t like how we don’t have much visibility on what’s been done and what’s going to be done. That’s going to change.
We skip stand-ups on the last day of the sprint; We spent the time preparing for the demo (aka Sprint Review) instead. I think we need stand-ups everyday, and should schedule the demo prep separately.
Our scrum master will interrupt and inform the team if someone does a dive dive (aka sidebar). We write the issue down and discuss them afterwards. This is good and we will carry on.
We start right on time at 11am, even though not everyone has arrived yet; Latecomers join the meeting without inpunity. That’s gotta change! Need to ensure the team is there and pressure everyone to show up on time.