What is achieved in the Daily Scrum?

In the Daily Scrum, the Development Team synchronizes the on-going activities and creates a plan for the next 24 hours (Daily Plan) to drive its development work. Also, any impediments are updated to the Backlog of impediments and made transparent, so others including the Scrum Master will know the details even if they do not attend the Daily Scrum.

Who sets up the meeting

As a self-organized team, the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity - Doing something regularly at the same time and place facilitates people to get used to that as a second nature. Moreover, it simplifies the logistics. The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event irrespective of the size of the team or duration of the Sprint. Once initially agreed upon, the Development Team members gather for the meeting at the same time and place every day, without any special arrangements that are typically needed for traditional meetings.

Who leads and controls the Daily Scrum? 

The Daily Scrum is an exclusive event for the Development Team. The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum. As an exception, a Scrum Master can participate to observe the correct implementation or facilitate discussions. The Scrum Master or any individual does not lead or control the event. The Scrum Master:

• ensures that the Development Team has the meeting and

• teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.

What happens if one or more Developers are out of the office?

The Daily Scrum goes on irrespective of minor developments such as someone being away. In fact, the Daily Scrum is a key inspect and adapt opportunity used to identify any issues like an unexpected absence and adapt the next 24-hour plan to respond. This daily sync up increases the possibility of acting on issues soon enough and hence optimizes the probability of getting the work done to meet the Sprint Goal.

Why is the Daily Scrum a key inspect and adapt meeting? 

Every day, the Development Team should understand how it intends to work together as a self-organizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment by the end of the Sprint. Daily Scrums improve communications, eliminate other meetings, identify impediments to development for removal, highlight and promote quick decision-making, and improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge. This is a key inspect and adapt meeting.

What happens in the Daily Scrum? The team starts by discussing the progress thus far. This is done by inspecting the work done since the last Daily Scrum. Since the Sprint Backlog contains the work units with each of them showing the remaining work, the team can understand the progress from the remaining work.

In addition, the Development Team members explain:

• What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?

• What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?

• Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?

How does the Development Team monitor the Sprint progress? 

The Sprint Backlog is a plan with enough detail as a reference. Using this reference, any changes in progress can be understood on a regular basis. This change in progress is inspected and any deviations are acted upon.

The team may optionally use a technique like a Sprint Burn-down to project the trend of completion. A Sprint burn-down is not mandatory but may be used if the team finds value. 

The tool Sprint Burn-down Chart shows the total work remaining in the Sprint. Its format is usually a graph containing the days on the x-axis and the work on the y-axis. Using a Sprint Burn-down Chart, the team tracks the estimated remaining work to meet the Sprint Goal. Based on the findings, the team forecasts the work that could be done before the next Daily Scrum. Any adjustments identified for the next 24 hours (Daily Plan) are updated in the Sprint Backlog.

This is not a status meeting for managers, so the team does not resort to any particular style, such as one individual asking these questions of the others. The team agrees on some ordering, preferably based on the Sprint Backlog plan, and voluntarily provides the status to rest of the team. Some teams may pass an object like a ball to each other, indicating that whoever has the ball talks. Such tactics are not part of Scrum but may be used by the team if they find them useful to increase collaboration and self-organization. If there are issues that the team can mutually solve with each other’s help, the team agrees to collaborate on them. If there are impediments outside of their influence blocking the progress, they are captured and made transparent to the Scrum Master.

Is the Progress calculated only during the Daily Scrum? 

Not necessarily. At any point in time during a Sprint, the total work remaining in the Sprint Backlog can be summed. At a minimum, the Development Team tracks this total work remaining in every Daily Scrum to project the likelihood of achieving the Sprint Goal. The Development Team can track the remaining work at anytime throughout the Sprint.

How does the Development Team handle issues and impediments against the Sprint Goal? The highest priority of the Development Team is to complete the Sprint Goal. Impediment refers to any problems faced by the Development Team that stops or blocks their planned progress towards the Sprint Goal. Impediments threaten the completion of the Sprint by the pre-set date.

In Scrum impediments are continuously identified throughout the Sprint, and they are made transparent during the Daily Scrum. The following are guidelines that the Development Teams follow whenever they face impediments:

1. Make impediments visible: As soon as someone identifies an impediment, they make it transparent to other team members through some communication or at the Daily Scrum, whichever is earlier.

2. Solve the impediment if it is within their influence: If there are impediments that are within the influence of the team to resolve, they need to be resolved by the team either directly or using workarounds. Note: The Development Team can reach out to technical/domain people outside the Scrum Team for help. However, later in the Sprint Retrospective, they need to inspect why they could not do it themselves. They need to identify the improvements necessary to make them truly cross-functional and self-sufficient.

3. Use the Scrum Master’s help for impediments outside the team’s influence: If the impediments need broader collaboration outside the team, the team should seek the Scrum Master’s help.

4. If the impediments still persist, involve the Product Owner: After the above steps, at the earliest indication that the team or Scrum Master cannot make progress on the impediments, the team should involve the Product Owner to discuss the alternatives.

If the Scrum Master does not attend the Daily Sprint, how would they know about impediments? Only the Development Team can participate in the Daily Scrum. However, the Scrum Master can choose to attend to ensure Scrum is correctly understood and enacted. They can also facilitate the Daily Scrum at the team’s request.

The question is – If the Scrum Master does not attend the Daily Sprint, how would they know come to know about impediments? This question assumes that impediments are brought out only during the Daily Scrum. That is incorrect. A team needs to bring out any impediment as soon as they know they need help.

So, the team will transparently make the impediments visible for anyone to see and also approach the Scrum Master when they know they need help.

What if the team identifies that adjustments are needed for the rest of the Sprint plan and not just the next 24 hours? 

If the Daily Scrum exposes the need to re-plan the rest of the Sprint, not just 24 hours, the Development Team or team members often meet immediately after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions or to adapt or re-plan the rest of the Sprint’s work. Regardless, the Development Team always closes the Daily Scrum within 15 minutes.

At the end of each Daily Scrum, the team will have a plan for the next 24 hours (Daily Plan) updated in the Sprint Backlog. This Daily Plan will contain the most important work that needs to be done in the next 24 hours. Also, the Backlog of impediments is updated and made transparent so others including the Scrum Master will know even if they do not attend the Daily Scrum.

By performing the development work, the Development Team reaches the Sprint Goal by producing a Product Increment.

Summary

• The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours.

• The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity.

• Only the Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum.

• The Development Team inspects the progress towards the Sprint Goal and the trend towards completing the Sprint Backlog.

• The Daily Scrum optimizes the probability that the Development Team will meet the Sprint Goal.

• This is a key inspect and adapt meeting. Daily Scrums improve communications, eliminate other meetings, identify impediments to development for removal, highlight and promote quick decision-making, and improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge.