What is the Daily Scrum?
The Daily Scrum is an event that is intended for the Scrum Team to synchronize around the current Sprint (Sprint Goal and Sprint Backlog) on a daily basis. During the Daily Scrum, the team comes together and updates each other on the status of the current sprint so the entire team has a good view on the progress within the Sprint, and if the team is still going to achieve the Sprint Goal.
Some teams do this by having each person tell the team what they worked on yesterday, what they will be working on today, and if they have an impediment, need help or want someone to assist them. Another approach is to go over the Sprint Backlog together, and give an update on every work item that is on the Sprint Backlog.
The exact format that you use is not that important. What is important is that the entire team knows what everybody is working on, that the team is aware of the progress within the sprint, impediments are made visible and people help each other where needed. If there are impediments, the Scrum Master will support the team in solving the impediment (or solving it for the team if it goes beyond the capabilities of the team).
An efficient Daily Scrum should not take longer than 15 minutes.
Why do a Daily Scrum?
A Daily Scrum creates transparency over the progress within the sprint. It makes it very clear if the sprint is still on track, and allows the team to adapt on a daily basis if needed. It also helps the team raise impediments rather early which will prevent them from losing a lot of time on them. It also supports the team in knowing when somebody needs help or input from another team member. In addition, it also ensures that the Product Owner can be made aware of any challenges in achieving the sprint goal, since this is also checked on a daily basis.
In short: the Daily Scrum ensures that the entire team is synchronized and that the progress within the sprint is transparent on a daily basis. Inspect and adapt can be done every day.
How to do a Daily Scrum?
As mentioned before, the exact format that you use for the Daily Scrum is not that important. Just make sure that the following topics are discussed and / or clear at the end of each Daily Scrum:
- What is everybody on the team working on? Does everybody on the team know what his/her team members are working on?
- What is our progress towards the sprint goal?
- Are there any impediments?
- Is there anything we have to discuss with the Product Owner?
- Do we have to adapt our plan?
Important is also that the team members talk to each other, and not to the Product Owner or Scrum Master. Doing that would make it some sort of “status update meeting” which make the goal of the Daily Scrum completely obsolete.
Some formats that you might use during the Daily Scrum:
- Have each team member inform the team about what they did yesterday, what they will be working on today, and if they have any impediment or need help from somebody
- Go over the sprint backlog and let the team updat each other on each work item, specifically what they did in regards to it yesterday, what they will do today, and if they have an impediment or need help from somebody
Tips & Tricks
Some tips & tricks that might help you during your Daily Scrums:
- Make sure the team engages with each other, instead of having some sort of “status update meeting”. The goal is to have the team synchronize with each other and prepare a plan for the day.
- Have your Daily Scrum every day at the same hour and the same place. Consistency reduces complexity.
- Make sure the team knows which details should be discussed during the Daily Scrum, but also which do not. Prevent having in depth and long discussions during the Daily Scrum as this is not the goal of the Daily Scrum, will reduce the focus during the Daily Scrum and will most likely annoy people in the team as well.
- If follow-up actions or discussions are needed, make sure to mention it durinng so that people know it will happen and who is responsible for it. I’ve seen many teams ending an in depth discussion during the Daily Scrum because it was consuming too much time (and was not revelant for the Daily Scrum) without defining the follow-up action. The result: the team forgot to have the discussion later that day and brought it up again during the next Daily Scrum…
- Make sure the entire team knows the purpose of the Daily Scrum very well. This will help in keeping it efficient and effective.