How can a Scrum daily not be a status pull?



  • There's a widespread saying

    The Scrum daily is not a status pull; if it is - you are not doing Scrum.

    By "status pull" is meant everyone from the development team reporting they have done some work in the last 24 hours, reporting to a manager. And the notion of a manager is another one falling outside the Scrum framework.

    But the canonical 3 topics advised to be talked about are "done; current; blockers". How are these topics different from "I've done work; I am working right now; I am not waiting on anyone"? Where is the collaboration part?



  • The 3 canonical topics are no longer part of the Scrum Guide itself, they were removed in the November 2020 update, because they did indeed allow teams to treat the Daily like a status call. Especially with a manager present (who, by the rules, should not be there or should be an observer only, so if a manager is getting involved, someone should explain the rules to them again)

    While you can still use these 3 topics as originally intended, the Daily really should revolve entirely around the blockers. The team probably already knows what you did, and what you'll be doing today, because that's visible on the backlog. What's important to discuss is what's not going as planned.

    Things you could bring up include

    • new functional requirements or discoveries(hey, we mentioned not needing to thread the thing, but there's this case that does require it)
    • intersections with another's work (since you're working on the Gizmo, we need to coordinate a bit because I'm also going to make a modification to it)
    • things stopping you from being effective (so I'm fixing the Foobar, but I'm not sure how it interacts with the Baz, can anyone give me some pointers?)
    • things that are taking longer than planned (we planned for this to take just one day, but it turns out the refactor hits more things that we thought, I'm going to need another day)
    • things that are going better than planned (we planned for this to take 3 more days, but I just found a library method that does all of the work already, so I'll be done by lunch and continue work on the Whirlygig next)

    Essentially, anything that's either going to change the plan, or that needs to be done in order to make sure the plan can be kept.

    The original 3 questions ended up displacing the original, real important Daily Scrum question: "Are we still on track to complete the goal?"

    Questions like above are related to that one, and help collaboration through identifying things that are a risk to the goal as well as spare time and resources that can contribute to the goal (or make it better).

    None of them are directly to the status of any specific task.

    Also, sometimes there is nothing deviating from the plan, everything's going according to plan and schedule. That's fine (great even), and it means the Daily Scrum probably shouldn't take more than 30 seconds. That's not an issue at all, and what you'd expect. Only if you realize later in the day that important things were not said does anything need to change.




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