Recently I have visited three different project teams that all claimed to be doing Scrum.
When I quizzed them it turned out that what they did was just short a daily status meeting.
Now, if that was all there is to Scrum we could have saved the money we spent on ScrumMaster certifications for everybody in Ative. It's is a good start but there is much more to Scrum.
The daily status meeting - colloquially called "The Daily Scrum" - is a key activity, however.
Every project - Scrum or not - can benefit from it since it focuses the team on the situation and raises the awareness of the problems that need to be addressed. For truly dysfunctional teams just the simple fact that it provides a few minutes where everbody takes off their headphones to talk to each other about how to achieve their goal is a big boost to the project.
Three simple rules apply to the Scrum meeting that distinguish it from old-fashined status mettings. It's short agenda is simply that every team member must present the answers to the following three questions:
- What did I do yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What is blocking me from working efficiently towards our sprint goal?
That's all. Timebox it to around 2 minutes per person. Use an hour glass ("minute glass") if necessary so you don't fall into the trap where some old-school project manager type does all the talking and concludes by asking if anybody has anything to add.
At Maersk Data Defence we also used two additional extra questions from Craig Larman's "Agile & Iterative Development":
- Do you have any new items to add to the Sprint backlog?
- Have you learned or decided anything new of relevance to the team members (technical, tools, requirements, smarter ways of working...)
The essence of Scrum is that of a self-directing, self-organising team. This means that the meeting is not about reporting status to a manager, the goal is for the team to self-organise around achieving its goal and removing any obstacles in the way.