Most people consider Daily Scrum is presumed to be a Status Meeting where Scrum Master takes status from the teams. One of the most common reasons for this is because people have used Project Manager as an entity for years and assume that Scrum Master is a renaming of Project Manager role and Daily Scrum to be a new name for “Status Meeting”.
What is Daily Scrum Really?
- Daily Scrum is not a Status Meeting. Daily Scrum is a inspect-adapt forum for the Developers to make a plan for next 24-48 hours by checking if the Sprint Goal is being met or not
- Developers sync up daily so that the plan for next 24-48 hours is effectively done
- Updating the Sprint Backlog should be the main goal of the Daily Scrum. This optimizes the probability of meeting the Sprint Goal
- Daily Scrum is a effective forum for improving communication and collaborations between Developers
Recommendation about Scrum Master’s Role in Daily Scrum
- Scrum Master may facilitate the Daily Scrum to ensure it gets over in 15 minutes and people do not make it a detailed discussion forum. However, Scrum Master is not considered the compulsory participant of Daily Scrum.
- Scrum Master’s role is to make the team independent and help them becoming self-managed team. Therefore, Scrum Master should teach the Developers to run the Daily Scrum effectively by doing a quick sync up and updating the Sprint Backlog
- Once the team becomes self-managed and know how to get the Daily Scrum completed within 15 minutes, Scrum Master should change his/her stance to an observer stance. That means the team has to talk to each other without Scrum Master’s intervention
- Scrum Master should teach the Developers to keep the status transparent through various tools and techniques such as Burn Up Charts, Burn Down Charts, Scrum Boards. This avoids a lot of wasteful status discussions in the Daily Scrum
- Once the Scrum Master feels that the Developers are managing on their own, the Scrum Master should purposely skip a couple of Daily Scrum and find out if the Developers still keeps doing the Daily Scrum on their own. If the Developers also skip the Daily Scrum, just because the Scrum Master was not there, then Scrum Master should treat this as an opportunity to coach the team again
- If Scrum Master notices that Product Owner is conducting reviews of Product during the Daily Scrum, then, Scrum Master should coach the PO not to do it and create another forum where the review of the product could be done
- Similarly, if Scrum Master notices that the line managers are wasting the time of Developers by taking status, then Scrum Master must intervene and prevent the line managers from doing this
- Sometimes, one of the Developers wastes a lot of time of others during the Daily Scrum trying to dominate the forum by showing off on his/her skills. Scrum Master’s job to facilitate and ensure that everyone gets equal chance during Daily Scrum. There are many facilitation techniques which could be used. For example, tossing the ball every 60 seconds to the next person to speak, introducing friendly penalties (buying a drink for everyone, doing 10 push-ups) for exceeding the time allocated to speak etc.
Thus, Scrum Master is not a mandatory participant of Daily Scrum. “Not Mandatory” does not mean that Scrum Master is always Absent in Daily Scrum. Scrum Master’s role is to make the team independent so that they can manage the Daily Scrum to inspect and adapt and optimize the probability of meeting the Sprint Goal. Once the team becomes independent, it is better for the Scrum Master to take a step back and take observer position.