Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are You Getting The Most Out of Your Daily Scrum?

I was recently out on a six-week trip to our offshore development center in Bangladesh. When I came back, I found out that the Scrum team I am coaching has changed the format of the Daily Scrum. They were doing the Daily Scrum in the traditional stand-up format in front of a physical task board. However, we always felt that the Daily Scrum was not as effective as we want it to be. We tried different things in the past to make the most out of our Daily Scrum. Nothing seemed to work, and hence always fell back to the basic format.

The team is now using a projector to use the electronic task board available in ScrumPad during the Daily Scrum. I, to be honest, was surprised and a little skeptical at first. The team felt that this new format is helping everyone better follow what others are saying in the Daily Scrum. It seems the verbal communication is being reinforced by the visual elements. It remains to be seen that how long we can continue to follow this new format.

One of the challenges of traditional Daily Scrum is to really "listen" to what others' are saying. An effective daily Scrum should allow everyone to understand how individual work is contributing towards achieving the team's Sprint goals. Anytime the team falls out of sync, it should become obvious in the Daily Scrum. And the team should take appropriate steps to recover/compensate. Thus the Daily Scrum works as "a daily feedback loop" to keep the team on the same page. It is easier said then done though.

How effective is your Daily Scrum?

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