Daily Scrum News: Beyond the Three Questions

Today I’d like to highlight one of the major changes in the November 2017 version of the Scrum Guide: it has to do with the Daily Scrum – the famous 15-minute Development Team meeting, probably the most well-known element of Scrum, you know, the one with the three questions. Well, it’s not about the three questions anymore!

But one thing after the other. Let’s start with some important things that stay the same:

  • The goal of the meeting: the Development Team members sync with each other on their progress towards the Sprint Goal and on their trend toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog. They self-organize to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Product Increment.
  • The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but they conduct it themselves.
  • It still has the 15-minute timebox.

So far so good. And now the two major changes:

  1. The Three Questions have become just an example. While the 2016-version states: “During the meeting the Development Team members explain 1. [Yesterday], 2. [Today], 3. [Impediments]”, the new version says: “The structure of the meeting is set by the Development Team and can be conducted in different ways if it focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal. Some Development Teams will use questions, some will be more discussion based.  Here is an example of what might be used: [The three questions].This change is in line with several others over the years that emphasize the nature of Scrum as a framework that leaves the specifics to the Team. Alternative ways to conduct the Daily Scrum have been discussed in the community for quite some time, e.g. (In 2011: Walk the Wall ). Hopefully this change encourages more experimentation and more sharing of other ways to sync within a team.
  2. Others may attend the Daily Scrum as long as they don’t distract from the purpose of the meeting. The very strict 2016-version (“The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum.”) is now much more relaxed: “The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team. If others are present, the Scrum Master ensures that they do not disrupt the meeting.“I am very happy about this change since it doesn’t explicitly exclude the Product Owner anymore. I have seen many Scrum Teams that have developed a very collaborative and transparent relationship between Product Owner and Development Team, where it was not only completely natural but also very helpful for the Product Owner to take part in the Daily Scrum.

In my opinion these changes are a great improvement. The framework nature of Scrum means that you shouldn’t need to break the rules in order to adapt Scrum to your context, you should rather just have to fill in some gaps. The changes to the Daily Scrum in the 2017 version of the Scrum Guide remove two needs to break the rules and thus allow for a lot more flexibility while staying true to the Scrum Guide.

Of course I am interested in your experiences: how do you conduct the Daily Scrum? Which patterns have you tried, which ones were successful to you? Please share your thoughts!




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