In short, yes - absolutely.
This is a common question I get from my clients. “We used to have weekly status meetings and now, with Scrum, we have them every day. Can’t we skip a few or just do twice weekly?”
When I get a question like this, I can tell that the person asking doesn’t understand the purpose of the daily Scrum. And I will admit, when I was new to Scrum (having come from the world of project management) I fell into this too. As a Scrum novice, if you would have shown me the three questions each person answers in daily Scrum:
- What did you get done yesterday?
- What are you doing today?
- Do you have any impediments?
And asked me “Based on that, what do you think the purpose of this meeting is?” I would have answered (very confidently, I might add) “Ok, I am a project manager. I know a status meeting when I see one. So this is probably just a quick little status meeting we have every day, probably mainly so each person on the team can give me a quick update on where they are with their work, so I can better manage the project.”
Nope. 100% wrong.
The purpose of the daily Scrum is work coordination. It is a time for the team to talk to each other and basically say:
- What did everybody get done yesterday?
- What’s everybody doing today?
- Does anybody need anything that they don’t have?
Those three questions are designed to give transparency on a daily basis as to how the sprint is going. It is also the only time of the day that everyone on the team plus the ScrumMaster and Product Owner all hear exactly the same thing. And in our current work environment where so many teams are 100% remote, it is more important than ever to have that daily touch point.
When I coach my clients and I sit in on daily Scrums, here is what I am looking for:
- Who is doing the talking?
- Who are they talking to?
I like to see the team doing most of the talking and that they are mostly talking to each other. You know what I usually see? I see team members reporting to their ScrumMaster. At that point, they have more or less turned that person into a project manager and the daily Scrum is no longer fulfilling its purpose.
People who fuss about doing the Daily Scrum tend to have one of two problems. Either they view it ask a status report to the ScrumMaster (in which case they are simply doing the daily Scrum wrong) or they don’t like the transparency that the meeting brings. But that transparency is the whole idea.
Make the daily Scrum a brief, meaningful conversation amongst the team, with the ScrumMaster and Product Owner taking a backseat and mostly listening, and you will get the maximum benefit with the least time investment.