Welcome back to the Scrum Master Skills Series! In part 1, I shared my notes on how to facilitate a great Sprint Planning session. Here, in part 2, I share my notes on ho to facilitate a great Daily Scrum. Enjoy!
- Facilitate: to make facile, to make easy. That’s your job as facilitator.
- Create an experience. Design the experience. Want the team to feel positive? Design a positive experience.
- Begin with, “The purpose of this meeting is …”
- Make it a Visual Meeting. Use a kanban board, Post-Its or Stattys or EcoStatics, paper, and pens.
- Make it a human meeting. Use your bodies and your voices, and make eye contact.
- Use a Time Timer.
- Read the Scrum Guide. As Scrum Master, you’re expected to know Scrum. The Scrum Guide is your guide.
- Set a recurring appointment series–the same time and place every day. Make it easy for people to attend.
- Get it done in 15 minutes–or less! The time box is 15 minutes. That’s 1 minute per person, followed by 5-10 minutes for the team to adapt.
- Read the Scrum Guide. Do what it says. Use the three questions in it.
- Make it a physical meeting. Use a kanban board. Ask Development Team members to touch the Post-It Note for each activity they discuss, and to physically move their Post-It Note to its new column on the kanban board.
- The first question, “What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?”, helps with Student Syndrome: there’s peer pressure to get stuff done every day, not just every sprint.
- The third question, “Do I see an impediment that prevents me or the team from meeting the Sprint Goal”, is a form of Ask For Help. Encourage team members to ask each other for help–ask them, “Do you need help from anyone on that?” You might even think of the first two questions as warm-ups for this one, the most important question.
- Try: Really facilitate! Keep the team focused.
- Try: If some team members are remote, attending by voice, call on people by name
- Try: Scrum Masters observe each other and play Perfection Game
- Practice every day!
- Try: Use a burndown chart that you drew in Excel or by hand. Tape it to the wall.
- Avoid: Electronic tools during the Daily Scrum. VersionOne and Rally slow you down. You can only go as fast as the tool, which isn’t fast enough for people-speed.
- Try: Don’t call on people. They aren’t reporting to you. They are reporting to each other. Honor the principle that they are self organized.
- Try: Don’t say anything. There’s limited conversation bandwidth. The more of it you use, the less information shared amongst team members.
- Try: A talking stick. Or at least, “Hang on, one conversation at a time.”
- Avoid: Free form discussions.
- Avoid: “We can take it offline.” Oftentimes, that’s a euphemism for, this conversation has no value, and we’ll drop it now, and we won’t remember to get back to it later.
- Try: Use a Parking Lot to log important conversation topics to discuss after the Daily Scrum, with whomever is interested in those topics.
- Try: Track impediments on a kanban board
- Try: Let the team do it–only prompt them if they need it. It’s the team’s meeting, not yours. Let them report to each other
- Try: Show up late, see whether they started the meeting without you. Remind them that it’s their meeting and they should start without you–we start on time, every time.
- Try: Invite your Product Owner. It’s a great way to make sure your PO isn’t surprised at the end of the Sprint.
- Avoid: Dismissing people early because they said their piece. Don’t optimize for the individual’s time. Optimize for the team’s overall success.
- Avoid: “We’ll skip you.” My NVC reaction: Anger! Your skipped me! Try: Let me take a turn; being respectful of the team’s time, I’ll probably say, “Pass”.
- Practice a Daily Scrum: answer the 3 questions
- Update the task board on the wall
- Update the burndown chart on the wall