So your team is having issues getting through your Daily Scrum. Your team shows up late or doesn’t bother showing up at all, and you’re starting to wonder if this whole Agile thing actually works.
Believe it or not…you are not alone! Most Scrum teams encounter major issues when making an initial attempt to adopt Scrum. It’s very easy to form bad habits and get stuck in a rut. The Daily Scrum is one of the simplest Scrum events to start practicing, but it is by no means an easy feat to make sure you get value out of them.
What can you do if your team is not finding the Daily Scrum valuable at all? Below are a few tips that may help you make a huge improvement in a very short period of time.
Tip #1 – Don’t call it a “Daily Scrum”; call it a “Daily Standup”
This may sound a bit odd, but sometimes terminology can consciously or unconsciously put us in a very different state of mind. If your team is resisting the notion of “doing Scrum”, try rebranding this meeting. Keep in mind that simply changing the name alone is likely not enough to convince anyone to change their behavior; you will also need to introduce other changes in the process (continue reading ahead). Along the same lines, instead of a “Scrum team”, try calling this team an “Agile team”. Who doesn’t want to be “Agile” in this world of uncertainty?
Tip #2 – Focus on re-planning (adjusting the plan) instead of what was already completed
Many new Agile teams that I have coached tend to dwell on the past. While it is necessary to know what was completed yesterday, that is in the past, and we should focus on the future. Many teams fail to utilize the Daily Scrum appropriately to adjust the plan as a team on a daily basis. Putting more emphasis on “how will we move forward to improve our chances of meeting the Sprint Goal” can often motivate the team to think more creatively on how to make progress on open work items collaboratively.
Tip #3 – Instill a sense of ownership
Giving the team “ownership” means that they should have the authority to make decisions, which will help them feel more accountable. I’m sure none of this is new to you, but what you may need to try is to give the team more freedom than you have ever given them before, and possibly even allowing them to go beyond their comfort zone from time to time. This will challenge to team to think about their decisions, whether they are related to technical design or implementation details or tools. What does this have to do with the Daily Scrum? Empowering the team to make quick decisions will likely encourage more collaboration which starts at the Daily Scrum.
There you have it. These tips may seem difficult to apply but keep these in the back of your mind just in case the right situation comes up!