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An Alternative format a Scrum Master can use to get their Daily Scrum event back from boring to more exciting and effective.

An Alternative format a Scrum Master can use to get their Daily Scrum event back from boring to more exciting and effective.

I have observed while working with Teams that the Daily Scrum Event becomes a chore after a point.

Team members settle down into a routine. Every team member answers the below three questions (or some variation) and moves on:
1. What did I do in the last 24 hours?
2. What am I planning to do in the next 24 hours?
3. Is there any blocker that is preventing me from achieving my plans?

As a Scrum Master, you must consistently reinforce that each event in Scrum is an opportunity to inspect and adapt.

As per Scrum Guide, Daily Scrum is an opportunity to inspect progress towards the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary.

In other words, the Developers must assess whether they are on track to achieving their Sprint Goal. Accordingly, they should add or remove items from their Sprint Backlog. The Daily Scrum is also a chance for them to adjust their plans for the next 24 hours.

I have also observed that many Scrum Teams think Daily Scrum is a Status update meeting.

If you also think this is the case, then either you don’t have information radiators or your information radiators are not working. What is the point of buying licenses for tools like JIRA etc., if they are not conveying the information needed?

Here is an alternative format to make your Daily Scrum more effective

The simple rule of 5

“You don’t need to prove to me that you’re busy. I know you’re busy”.
● Michael Pryor, Co-Founder of Trello
Joel Spolsky created this method, Co-Founder of Trello when he was running Fog Creek (now Glitch) and StackExchange. He realized he could not answer the question of whether the team was working on the company’s big priorities. In the words of Joel himself:

“I think a lot of times people are working on a long list of little things and don’t know what the company’s big priorities are either,”

So what is this “Rule of Five” method?

Joel realized that all he wanted to know from his team was a list of 5 things. These five things turned into the Rule of Five. Given below is the list of Five things which each team member must answer:
1. Two tasks they were currently working on.
2. Two tasks they plan to work on next.
3. One task that people might expect them to be working on but they weren’t planning on doing.

What are the benefits of this “Rule of Five” method?

● The foundation of being Productive is staying focused. Focusing on just two tasks at a time helps the team members to go deeper into specifics. It also prevents others from asking questions not related to your current focus.
● It inherently produces a transparent roadmap. When you list the two tasks you will pick up next after you finish your current task, that’s an excellent personal roadmap or, at the very least, a good plan.
● It also increases team communication. When you mention one task that others expect you to work on but you don’t plan to work on and the reasons behind it, then it helps the rest of the team to understand why the task won’t be completed soon.

Merge this “Rule of Five” method with an update to the Team’s Visual board.

To make this “Rule of Five” method even more potent, align with Team’s Visual board. Each team member should have only two tasks in progress and two functions in the To Dos assigned to themselves. The method automatically keeps the Work in Progress limits in check.

Once the team follows this discipline, the Team’s Visual board visually represents the big picture.

We request Scrum Masters to practice this “Rule of Five” in their next Daily Scrum and share their experience with us in the comments section.

You can read more about the “Rule of Five” method here – https://bit.ly/3vEWhxa.

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