We asked our Agile Coaches:
How do you facilitate daily scrum?
And they answered:
As a Scrum Master I learned to be a bit more hands of with the Daily. I used to try to run it, but I had to learn that this caused dailies to stop as soon as I was not available.
So these days I mostly try to listen and observe throwing out an observation or so when I think the team is stuck in a detail discussion or when it feels like everyone is recounting yesterday when they should look towards how to move towards the Sprint Goal.
At the end of the day, the Daily Scrum belongs to the team and they can run it as they feel is best.
There is no specific or perfect way. What works great for one team might not work at all for the other. It highly depends on how long the team has been working together and how well it is functioning. It can vary from: 1. Moderating it (Daily Board person or task based) to 2. Just observing, letting the team go with the flow, only raising questions e.g. if support is needed to 3. Step by step not showing up and leaving the team up to themselves, their own procedures and way of doing.
I don’t, the team does. But seriously, no matter if anyone is facilitating the meeting I like a more outcome- and less resource-based approach. This means we go through all the work that is currently in progress, focus on how it can be finished, and align on next steps to do so. Team members just contribute where suitable. It is harder to detect if someone is “not doing anything”, but in a mature self-organizing team that should never be an issue. The final question “Who is not sure where to contribute until the next Daily?” helps here, though.
The daily scrum is the meeting where the team connects and synchronizes on a daily basis. In these pandemic times, we added small formats of private checkins to strengthen the connections on a personal level.
So we follow the board and talk about every open story, be clear on what needs to be done to finish it.
But we also take time talk about the evenings, challenges with home schooling and the things that matter for each individual.
For me it strongly depends on the maturity of the team how I facilitate a daily scrum as a scrum master. I usually start with active facilitation to help the team to find their way to deal with common issues I often see in dailies, like ...
- … to detailed discussion or reports
- … long-running dailies (>15min)
- … reporting instead of planning the next 24h as a team
- … task-by-task vs person-by-person
- … not inspecting the progress towards the sprint goal
to name a few. I like to introduce simple tools like “Raise your hand if a discussion is to detailed” or “Place a countdown timer in your video sharing screen”. I also like to do ROTI votings directly after the daily to have a fast feedback loop.
At some point I start to come late or occasionally not show up for the daily at all, to force the Dev-Team to facilitate the daily scrum on their own. My success criteria as a scrum master is to see the team running valuable dailies on their own with me being just an observer.
Focus on Transparency, Adaptation, Inspection. I accompany the DevTeam within their agile framework to understand the reason-why, the details and goal of a Daily by
- Asking questions
- Sharing observations to make the team think about the sprint goal and possible impediments or risks
- Liberating the structure of the Daily to open the mind, avoid blind spots (only challenge the agenda of the Daily from time to time, NOT the time and place the Daily should take place)
--> My goal: Helping them to become more self-organized
Ask everybody what they did yesterday and what they're doing today. Simple and quick. I start with the person that came last to the meeting and have them pick the next person until we've gone full circle. Or build a custom app that looks like a Wheel Of Fortune and make a gameshow out of it. Spin the wheel, whoever it lands on answers like they're being interviewed by a gameshow host.
About #AgileSeven: We ask every month our Agile Coaches and will publish on the 7th each month their answers. Why 7? It is a magic number.