The Daily Scrum — More Than Meets the Eye

The daily stand-up is a deceptively simple way of digging deep into what is happening within the team. It is a lot more than just the three question; it is a mechanism for identifying the areas of spin and churn and also for ensuring that everyone understands:

  • What is blocked?
  • What is being worked on?
  • Who is working on X?
  • When will X be done?
  • What am I doing/supposed to be doing?
  • What are everyone’s top 3 priorities?
  • Is anyone struggling with their task? Can I help?
  • What will be done today?
  • What is ready to test?
  • What issues/impediments need to be discussed?
  • What is critical?

The daily scrum is also an opportunity for team members to share briefly — details can be discussed in an off-line session — what they learned within the past 24 hours that others could benefit from. Finally, it’s an opportunity for team members to ask themselves, “What can I do right now to advance tasks to a done state on the highest priority incomplete stories?”

So, if your team doesn’t meet daily for the stand-up, their answers to, and their understanding of, the above questions will be stale and will detract from their ability to get stories done quickly.

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