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Why the Three Daily Scrum Questions in Scrum May Not Be Effective
Step out of the game and into strategic thinking: why the daily scrum should be about more than just tactics
The Daily Scrum is a crucial event in Scrum, designed to inspect progress towards the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary. The Daily Scrum is not a status meeting or a problem-solving session but a re-planning event for the next 24 hours until the next Daily Scrum.
The three daily scrum questions - "What did you do yesterday? What are you planning to do today? Are there any blockers or impediments in your way?" - may not always be effective in promoting teamwork and achieving common goals. In fact, if members are merely explaining what they did yesterday or what they're planning to do today, they may not be working together towards a common goal. They are effectively not a team!
The Daily Scrum should be an opportunity for the team to strategize together and work towards getting the most out of the day. Here are some alternative questions that can be asked during Daily Scrum meetings:
What is our game plan for today?
How can we think strategically to approach our work differently?
What should we focus on today to get the best bang-for-our-buck?
What do we need to do to seize the day and make the most of it - carpe diem?
What do we need to do to get things done effectively?
How can we replan our work to new learnings and understandings?
How can we shift work around to others to promote teamwork and ensure that we get everything done?
How can we ask for help and input from each other to solve problems and achieve our goals?
Can we do this in a better way?
The Daily Scrum is not meant to be facilitated as it is a self-managing event for the developers by the developers. Instead, it should be a professional conversation and brainstorming session on how best to play the day. By asking the right questions, the team can focus on what's important, collaborate effectively, and achieve their goals.
Think of the Daily Scrum as a time-out in a sports game. On the field, players are tactically dealing with the situation at hand. However, when they call a time-out, they take a break to look at the bigger picture and strategize for the rest of the game. Similarly, the Daily Scrum should be a time for the team to step back, think strategically, and come up with a new game plan for the day.
Please stop using the three questions and giving status updates to each other. Start taking ownership of your work and collaborate on how to win.
What did you find changed when you stopped using the three questions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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