Daily Scrum
10.09.20

10 Rules and Insights of a Daily Scrum Meeting

Many stakeholders, developers, and managers have such a double question “Why is a Daily Scrum needed and how should it go?”. At first look, it’s a simple question, but when you need to explain it in the way of totally understanding of all related team/company members – it’s not so easy to make it absolutely transparent and clear for everybody. In this article, I will share my personal top ten insides, secrets, thoughts, and essential/core rules of Daily Standup Scrum meeting, its purposes, conduction, and flow. Have a good reading!

Consistency Of A Daily Scrum Meeting Is Required

A project development team should conduct a daily scrum meeting in a previously known and agreed place and time, this location and time of the meeting should be permanent for a team of a particular project. The Daily Scrum Meeting is the core of Scrum.

Wrong Cases

1) Andy: Rasim/Guys, what time and where will the meeting about migrating products to Hetzner be today? It’s a wrong question because a place & time must be permanently consistent from a project initialization part, from the very beginning.

2) A project development team forgot about a daily meeting and it didn’t take place.

3) Be late for the meeting and make your team wait for you.

Right Cases

1) Andy: Guys, let’s go to a Daily Scrum at the meeting room. The meeting will begin in a minute, at 12 noon. This is right when somebody from a team speaks out loud and remind everybody about a daily meeting.
2) An entire project development team was present at a daily meeting and it successfully and on time took place.
3) Be on time at a daily meeting with your project colleagues

Daily Scrum provides transparency and understanding of a project state and involvement of each team member

Often, it happens that the Front-end and Back-end developers do not have direct communication, especially daily. Replenishing this communication hole is just one example of what a daily scrum meeting can give you. The main task of the daily scrum is to talk about your yesterday’s success, then to set specific goals that you will complete today, and finally to declare any problem (in order to solve it later by joint efforts) that may interfere with your goals or even the overall goal of the sprint. This meeting is an ideal opportunity to identify blockers (tasks that are blocked by someone or something else), without which it is impossible to continue working on a task. Communication to determine the status of tasks and team networking.

Answer the 3 main questions of Daily Scrum

Each member of the development team, in turn, must answer the 3 questions below. The answers to these questions should be formulated in the affirmative and in the present tense. This creates an understanding of all the processes of each participant, socially motivates, and creates excellent networking.

1. What have you done the previous day?
2. What will you do today?
3. What’s stopping you?

Why should the answers to the questions of Daily Scrum be formulated in the affirmative and in the present tense?

What you have already done, plan to do, or what is stopping you – should be formulated as if it were a fact. Like, today this and that is done; as of tomorrow this and that is done.

Human is so arranged that he hears his own words as if from the side. That is why it often happens that you share your problem with someone, and suddenly, while talking, you find a solution. By speaking and listening at the same time, you are using additional brain resources.

Present Time Speaking – Healthy Brain Tricking

Speaking your plans in the present tense, you tune your brain to the result, not to the process. The fact is that times have a subtle semantic connotation. The past (“what I did”) is like history and no one needs it; and the future (“what I will do”) is not yet and not the fact that it will be. Therefore, it is not necessary to subconsciously send to yourself and your colleagues such a message of uncertainty. Use the present. It instills faith, and without faith in the result, productive activity is impossible.


Wrong Cases

1) Answer other questions
2) Talk about another project
3) Interrupt a team member whose turn it is to answer questions

Right Cases

1) Andy: Yesterday I’ve done something, today these tasks will be done, I have a problem with / no problems.
2) Talk only about the current team project.
3) First only to listen to the speaker and then after the meeting – ask a question or tell what you want.

The Question Is Always Pronounced

It would seem that everyone knows these three questions, even if they just answer one at a time, there is no need to pronounce the question. It’s a wrong thought. If you forget to utter a question, the essence of the daily scrum meeting will eventually be smeared and dissolved. Three worn-out questions should be asked to each project participant at each daily meeting. If a scrum meeting is itself the pulse of a project, then three questions are the pulse of a scrum meeting.

Daily Scrum Timebox

Daily Scrum rally has its own time frame, the so-called timebox. The maximum duration of this meeting is 15 minutes. There is no restriction on the speech of any of the participants, but the duration of a daily scrum cannot be more than 15 minutes.

Wrong Cases

1) Speak too long and talk about every little detail.
2) Timebox exceeds 15 minutes.

Right Cases

1) Speak briefly and on business
2) Hold a meeting for up to 15 minutes, stay in this timebox.

Daily Scrum Is A Stand-up Meeting

Scrum meeting = stand-up meeting. People don’t like to stand, therefore, in good faith, a standing meeting will be faster. In addition, it’s useful for us IT guys to get up from a computer at least sometimes:)

Wrong Case
1) Sitting on a chair, on a table, or anywhere else

Right Case

1) Listen and answer 3 questions while you are standing

Stick to an answers to a topic of a particular question

It happens that you jump from “what I’ve done” to “what I’ll do” right in the middle of the sentence because often one task follows from another. It’s important not to allow yourself to do this, as first, the scrum sums up the results of the previous day, and only then about you can speak about today.

Wrong Cases

1) What have you done yesterday? Yesterday I’ve done validation on the registration form, today I will list the users.
2) What will you do today? Today I plan to make a new login page, and, and yesterday I reset my password.
3) What’s stopping you? No blockers.

Right Cases

1) What have you done yesterday? Yesterday I’ve done validation on the registration form, added the ability to edit registration fields from the admin panel, and implemented the ability to reset the password.
2) What will you do today? Today I plan to output a list of all users and create a new login page.
3) What’s stopping you? No blockers.

Non-negotiable!

Daily Scrum meeting is intended solely for the exchange of information on the work done and plans for the future. It’s on this that the attention of the participants should be concentrated. Therefore, while one participant in the project is telling – the others are listening, and all emerging issues are quietly written down for themselves for subsequent discussion. 

Daily Scrum is not a report to a management

It is imperative to understand that scrum is not a reporting mechanism to a company or team management. This is a kind of promise to all participants, which removes the stress factor and allows them to be honest with themselves and colleagues. Therefore, in no case should a scrum meeting be turned into a report to the leadership. More often than not, the boss is best not to take part in the scrum meeting.

No criticism or value judgments

Nobody is perfect, and not a single project moves without failures. When an employee says “I didn’t do anything, I played balls all day” – it’s very valuable that he can say it plainly and openly! We all have days when we can only play a dumb game in the workplace. If you make this employee feel guilty for this day, then the next time he will come up with some nonsense, which in the end will only misinform the team and kill the atmosphere of trust.

Wrong Case

1) Sergio: For the fourth day in a row, I have been creating a banner to display rounds of the game for the Front-end guys.

Andrew: You are a fool! You have been doing this so long. I would have done in half a day! You are not a professional.

Right Case

1) Accept information as it is. And further – these are questions of self-organization, the self-discipline of a team member, and management. This does not apply directly to the Daily Meeting. And if you have any advice, then you can provide them after the meeting.

Attention! Attention! And 100% focus

A complete ban on all communications at the time of the meeting. Skype / Telegram / Viber / WhatsApp go offline, mobile phones turn off or mute and all the attention is paid to the meeting. A gap in context during the meeting is badly affected and is expensive for the company and the team.

Wrong Cases

1)  In the middle of the meeting, someone has a telephone ringing or sound notifications come from it.

2) In the middle of the meeting, a team member is distracted by the phone or constantly / periodically uses it / surfs something in it.

Right Cases

1)  Turn off the sound and vibration on the phone during the meeting, put it on the table in an inverted state, or do not take it with you to the meeting room.
2) Do not be distracted or use the phone during the meeting.

Summarizing everything that has been said

Consistency, timeboxes, standing, correct questions, and answers to them. Also, respect, independence, autonomy, and self-organization of each team member are a clear indicator of the agile manifesto – people and interactions are more important than processes and tools.

Random Agile / Scrum Thought

Nobody wants someone in a team to portray vigorous activity in front of a manager:) A scrum-team is a self-organized team, which follow to the realization of the sprint goal along their path with the help and consultation of a scrum-master / product-owner (PM).

Written By
Rasim Nadzhafov
Senior Product/Project Manager, UX Designer, Entrepreneur

Only through self-education, flexibility, dynamism, and comprehension of new things you can achieve permanent success.

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