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Theory "Daily Scrum"

The daily coordination between the Developers

During Sprinting, the so-called Daily Scrum Meeting takes place every day. Another name that is often used is "Daily Stand-up Meeting" and this sums up the core of the meeting very well: The meeting is held daily in a stand-up position.

The Developers meet and briefly inform each other about their work. The presence of the Developers is essential, the Scrum Master should be present to ensure that the time, the duration and the constructive process are adhered to. The Product Owner or other persons can also participate in the meeting, but this is not necessary. In this case, neither the Product Owner nor other guests have a speaking role.

The agenda of the Daily Scrum

Basically, the Developers themselves decide how this meeting should be structured. However, it has proven useful for the Scrum Master to begin the Daily Scrum as a moderator, if he is participating in the meeting. Each Developer then briefly gives his team colleagues three pieces of information:

  1. What did I do yesterday?
  2. What do I plan to do today?
  3. What impediments are interfering with my workflow?

The Scrum Master receives the impediments from the Developers and looks for solutions. If necessary, an "Impediment Backlog" can be used to document the impediments and their processing.

It is crucial that the Daily Scrum is not a status meeting. The Developers are updating each other and they do not report to the Scrum Master or, if present, to the Product Owner. To avoid this happening, the Developers could stand in a circle and face each other - the Scrum Master and the Product Owner should stand outside the circle.

The Daily Scrum Meeting takes place every day at the same time in the same place. A room should be available for this purpose in which people can talk undisturbed. Alternatively, the meeting can also take place virtually by means of a video conference. In this case, it should also be ensured that the Developers are undisturbed.

Virtual Daily Scrum

Even if the Daily Scrum Meeting takes place virtually, it should be ensured that the participants are standing and that the time box is observed. If the Daily Scrum Meeting takes place virtually, the Developers could switch on their cameras and Scrum Master and Product Owner could deactivate their cameras.

As standard in Scrum, this meeting is also time-boxed. It has been established that the meeting lasts 15 minutes. It must start and end on time. If a participant is late, the participants do not wait for him, but the meeting starts.

Late participants and penalties

If a participant is late for the Daily Scrum Meeting, the reason for the delay should be found out. Was it a one-time thing because the participant was stuck in a traffic jam? Does it happen regularly because the participant has private problems that affect the work? The Scrum Master should find out what the reason is, especially in the case of regular delays. If, for example, the same Developers are always late because the train they all take jointly is often late, then the meeting could be rescheduled for a few minutes, for example.

Some teams have introduced penalties for being late, e.g. paying small amounts that are donated to charity at the end of the project, or baking biscuits for the whole team. The extent to which such penalties make sense should be decided individually from team to team. However, it is important that the reasons for lateness are not pushed into the background and that first attempts are made to remedy them instead of implementing sanctions and not questioning the reasons.

Overview: Daily Scrum

  • Duration: 15 minutes, stand-up meeting

  • In the Developer's responsibility

  • Participants: Developers and, if applicable, Scrum Master

  • Ideally in the morning with compulsory attendance and punctual appearance of all Developers

  • Result: Information about the current progress, improved communication, rapid initiation of improvements, as well as an increase in the mutual knowledge of all Developers

Communication at the Daily Scrum

In the Daily Scrum Meeting, it is important that all Developers have a chance to speak about what they have achieved, their plans and challenges. This type of communication is called participative communication: the participants take an active part in the exchange. It should be ensured that the participation of the Developers is equal and that everything that is said is taken seriously, especially when it comes to impediments.

A brief reminder

You have already heard the word participative in connection with the environmental analysis. There are three different approaches to the environmental analysis:

  • Participative approach: all parties affected by the project are treated as partners and are actively involved in the project. Participation in this approach ranges from information and communication to involvement in the decision-making process.

  • Discursive approach: The interests of the different stakeholders are reconciled. In this case, conflict management and negotiation methods should be used.

  • Repressive approach: The environment is only superficially involved. Decisions are made by one person alone. There are only a few cases where this approach may be necessary.

You can transfer these approaches to communication in Scrum Meetings. As you already know, participative communication is to be chosen when communicating with Developers at the same level during Daily Scrum. This type of communication should be the preferred strategy during Scrum Events. Discursive communication can also be used at one point or another in the Scrum framework. Repressive communication cannot be reconciled with the values of Scrum - there is no single person who makes decisions alone, so this form of communication is not used during a Scrum project.