6

My question is related to this one but it is not the same actually.

The context is the following: I'm the new manager of a new team, with 2 technical senior members. The rest of the team is new.

We've started a sprint two weeks ago and we are trying to have a 10 minutes daily scrum. However, I can feel that they are less than motivated to attend the daily scrum, almost needing me to push them.

To be honest, my problem is two fold, first we don't have that much to say on a daily basis. The second is more problematic, it is the passivity of every members to start daily scrum. It maybe related to the lack of things to say but it maybe related to something unsaid and that, I don't know how to deal with that.

The questions with the answers I've drawn, are two fold:

  • Would it make sense to make the daily once every two days as we seem to not have much to say on a daily basis?
  • How can I ensure that the passivity to attend the daily scrum is not related to a low morale or worse, unsaid things?

Thanks


Update 1: Strader says that scrum is a poisonous fruit but like any framework, it needs to be adapted to fit the situation and not the reverse.

Update 2: I talked to the team, asking them if we should shorten the daily. The stakeholder who happens to work with us and one of the team lead said unanimously, no, that we should keep the 10mn daily format.

Thanks.

  • 3
    Scrum is evil poisonous fruit of incompetent project managers – Strader Nov 13 '18 at 19:05
  • Hi @Strader, should I drop it? You know, I'm less than fond of all these meetings but in the same time, how do you keep track that things are not going downhill...? – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 19:06
  • IMHO, you should make less time based but more task based schedule. If, team members will have news to discuss, relevant to project you working of course, the meetings would be much more productive – Strader Nov 13 '18 at 19:20
  • @Strader what do you mean by more task based schedule? Btw, the daily last only for 10 minutes, which is really short. – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 19:24
  • as a manager your job is to study your team, find their strong / week suites and distribute workload / assignments accordingly. As programmers, your underlings have tasks they need to do and , that is based on my experience, while task is incomplete its the only thing on your mind – Strader Nov 13 '18 at 19:28
5

Our team used to have daily standups as well. (Long time ago, at $WORK, we started using Scrum. We found it stifling, and moved beyond it, but we get certain things, like standups, prioritized backlogs, user stories, etc). But we found it not working for our team, for two reasons. First, we often had standups lasting 2 minutes with everyone saying "Still working on the same thing as yesterday and the day before". Secondly, people felt the need for longer discussions; not about daily tasks, but about implementations, whether or not to implement requests from other parts of the business, and if so how, etc.

So we changed our schedule, and we have an hour long meeting once a week.

Whether that will work for your team, I don't know. My point is that if daily standups aren't working for you, don't be afraid to try something different. You can always go back to daily standups if something different isn't working either.

  • Hi @abigail, your answer is good , Sergeon's answer is good as well as Bill's answer. But with your answer, I enjoy the peace of mind it gives me, to find a solution that works best with us, our team. Thank you. :) – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 21:05
4

Would it make sense to make the daily once every two days as we seem to not have much to say on a daily basis?

If it is true that your team does not have much to say in the daily meetings, then probably the root of your problem are not the dailies themselves, but whatever thing is causing your team to not be able to work or make achievements. Perform only one meeting every two or three days won't fix that.

How can I ensure that the passivity to attend the daily scrum is not related to a low morale or worse, unsaid things?

Well, this is very dependent to your situation and is impossible to answer in the vacuum. However, if all the team silently refuse to show up in the dailies and you have to go for them, it very much seems that there are some kinds of frictions between the team members or they are just demoralized. Or maybe they never worked using scrum before and somehow feel that the implementation of the new methodology is some sort of attack against the way they used to work.

I believe that scrum retrospectives are a good place to fix daily meetings issues. In my career, I had issues with the daily meetings in almost all the teams I've worked on: usually because people provide too much detail or too little, but also because people were tardy or passive about daily meetings.

Talking about that in the retrospective sessions always helped. Raise the issue calmly in the next retrospective and see how the team react.

  • Hi @sergeon, when do you set scrum retrospectives? At the end of the scrum? – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 19:38
  • at the end of the sprint, right after the demo. – Sergeon Nov 13 '18 at 19:39
  • There are several sprints and they are supposed to last until mid-December... I need corrective actions in the course of these multiple sprints. – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 19:41
  • You said you started with your team 2 weeks away. You're working with 5 weeks sprints? – Sergeon Nov 13 '18 at 19:43
  • several sprints of a week each. – John Legas Nov 13 '18 at 19:55
3

To get things moving you should just go around the room. Ask someone to start then go around the room.

Ask them to provide:

  • What did I work on yesterday
  • What am I going to work on today
  • Any blockers

We usually finished with a 16th minute for things that were outside development, like people taking time off, or a management announcement.

Over time you will get a cadence or pace going and things will settle in.

I have also seen it where we go down the list of issues that are in progress and ask why anything completed but not accepted has not been etc. Not exactly by the book per say, but you may need to roll with things. Revisit at the retro each sprint and see what you need to 'tune'.

2

I've always look at SCRUM as a layered approach ramping up and down in intensity depending on how well you want to enforce it or let things go, however let's focus on the daily standup:

  1. Set up a recurring meeting in outlook, the meeting should be early in the day, if folks get in by 9 AM, 9:30 AM would be ideal to hold the meeting, that way the disruption to the team is minimized.

  2. Follow the standard: "what I did, what I'm doing, and blockers approach", introduce parking lot items to encourage conversation, this may bring a software design element to the meeting, which you'll have to weigh against the timebox, these types of interactions require a strong SCRUM master to keep things in order.

  3. Ensure remote members participate, working from home shouldn't be an excuse not to attend.

  4. Have an interactive game with possible rewards, we use Jenga, I've worked at a place where folks threw a ball around.

  5. Bring up the sprint backlog during daily and use the board to engage team members on what everybody's working on as opposed to going around in a circle.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.