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My work is pending because I need a permission from someone outside the scrum team. The scrum master knows about this issue because I said that yesterday and today in the stand up. What I'm thinking about is shall I say "There is no update from my side" is that good to say? Or mention the same issue tomorrow (which everyone in the team already knows about)

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  • Are there no other Tickets you could be working on? – Bernhard Döbler May 19 '20 at 18:21
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    we have a daily scrum stand up mean (at our workplace) daily short meeting to update the team of what you have done , and what you are about to do. but I have no update to say tomorrow, so what shall I say then , cause I'm not familiar with all aspects of scrum and this is the first time that I faced this issue – Dalal Mansour May 19 '20 at 18:37
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's about project management. – DJClayworth May 19 '20 at 19:01
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    There is always an update. Even if you are blocked, you should be doing something. You need to indicate the block, identify your assistance points and then call out what other things you plan to do while blocked. – Joel Etherton May 19 '20 at 19:39
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    @DJClayworth IMO this is a legitimate workplace question. Being asked to give a report is a fairly common workplace occurrence, albeit more common in some workplaces than others. – P. Hopkinson May 19 '20 at 19:48
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If your task is blocked, it sounds like you should have a lot to say during the Daily Scrum.

You and your team need to talk about what's going to happen now.

I mean, I'm going to assume that your task wasn't placed on the backlog to keep you occupied. Generally speaking, tasks on the backlog are important. And they are important soon. But the task is not being done, because of an outside issue.

Is your task not getting done threatening your Sprint Goal? If so, you need to talk with your Product Owner and what to do now. You might need to escalate the whole "waiting for permission". Who are you waiting for? How aware are they that this pending permission is blocking your sprint and might cause you not to hit the goal? Is there anyone around who can put some pressure on this person to do their job?

Is your task not getting done not threatening your Sprint Goal? Then mark it as blocked, send the occasional status update to this person and then talk with your team about you'll be doing now. Is there anyone you can lend a hand? Is there any new work that you can pick up? Can you do some admin while you wait? Refine some stories with the PO?

"My work is blocked and I'm not doing anything" should be the furthest from "nothing to say" you can get. In a daily scrum the only reason you might have for having "nothing to say" is "Everything is on schedule, nothing is blocked, we'll meet the goal on time." Any other message is what the Daily Scrum is for.

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    Love the answer! Another option instead of "I'm not doing anything" is to offer to swarm. Swarming is stepping in to help other team members on their task. Some tasks lend themselves to swarming and others don't but this tactic can help move the team toward their sprint goals. – Benjamin S May 21 '20 at 12:18
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If you're doing standups the way we do then the status would be 'blocked'.

You report that you are blocked. The scrum master (are they also the project manager?) can work on resolving the block.

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    the scrum master is another software developer not the project manager. He can't work to resolving that. our solution now is waiting. – Dalal Mansour May 19 '20 at 18:23
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    While it is not solely the Scrum Master's job to clear impediments (you can too or others can), it is a core part of the role. The scrum master can reach out to the person, explain the issue and the impact it's having, look for alternatives, etc. – Daniel May 19 '20 at 21:04
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You need to move from the idea of "my work" to "our work".

In Scrum, individuals do not have work. The team forecasts and plans work in support of a goal. If you took a piece of work as far as you can and are now dependent on someone outside of the Scrum Team, you should work to get that unblocked. This could mean letting the Scrum Master know since one of their responsibilities is to help in removing impediments. It could mean following up with the person or people you are dependent on. Once you've done that, the next step is to help the rest of the team with other work. It could mean starting a new task or helping someone else finish what they are working on.

You shouldn't be waiting until the Daily Scrum to raise impediments or seek out something else to do to help your team. The Daily Scrum does provide a good opportunity to let your teammates know that you may be blocked on progress and you may be able to help them with other things. If you have nothing to say about offering help or making progress, you need to start there.

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Ask your boss, or whoever is responsible for running the meeting. Different bosses will have different expectations.

In general it is usually a good idea to say something brief such as:

"I'm waiting for permission from team X, as discussed yesterday.

In the meantime I've taken the opportunity to do Y."

Y could be anything. Helping a colleague, sorting out your emails, catching up on mandatory training, online learning, cleaning out the loos.... whatever. You just need to indicate that your primary objective was blocked but you still tried to achieve something, ideally without boring anyone with too many details.

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