The Daily Scrum is a keystone when it comes to the practice of Scrum.
It is where values such as commitment, courage, focus, mutual respect and dedication are put to the test. The meeting is a powerful tool for tracking progress in a project as indicators of success and failure show up prominently if one knows to identify them. It is also a manifestation of a living and breathing team health dashboard
How can the Daily Scrum be misused
Many a time, a Daily Scrum is made into a ritual which only saps the energy of the team and takes out all the power out of a Daily Scrum. Worse still, a daily roll call is considered as a Daily Scrum and is even considered sufficient to classify the team as a Scrum team.
As a Scrum Master and a Scrum team member I have witnessed Daily Scrums being misused and being reduced to just a “tick in the checkbox”.
An unforgettable occurrence of this was when I was a Scrum team member in a Technical Support team while working with a Fortune 500 company with a history dating back to the creation of the PC.
Strangely this legacy didn’t help as the team was led by an ignorant manager and lead who felt that carrying out a roll call was what constituted a Daily Scrum meeting. The foundation stones of a Sprint goal, a Sprint backlog were missing but much to my amusement the team still considered itself as a Scrum team.
The fact that the Daily Scrum meeting made no sense in this situation was completely lost on the management.
So when is the Daily Scrum meaningful
A Daily Scrum meeting is meaningful when it reinforces the common thread connecting the entire team.
Every Daily Scrum aids in strengthening the myriad pieces technical or otherwise in a user story or feature and as a side-effect the bonds which bind the Scrum team together as a performing unit.
When team members commit to working towards the common Sprint goal every day, have the courage to speak up truthfully at a Daily Scrum, respect the right of others to voice their thoughts, have the dedication to work on the Sprint goal in the face of impediments and the focus to work only towards the Sprint goal, that is when a Daily Scrum meeting becomes purposeful.
Otherwise the Daily Scrum can turn into a roll call or your team’s version of Toastmasters International.