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What are some of the problems faced during Scrum implementation – effective use of the daily Scrum meeting ? – Part 3

In the previous two posts (Daily Scrum problem1, Daily Scrum problem2), I had mentioned some of the problems that can cause the Daily Scrum meeting, so integral to the success of a Scrum process, to become ineffective or fail. Here is the final part of this 3 part series into how the Daily Scrum meeting can become weak.
– Team members must know their daily activities. Part of knowing what they are doing and what they need to achieve is in the form of several reports such as the Breakdown Chart, the Sprint Backlog Chart, and so on. If these are not maintained and tracked well, it will become difficult for the team members to know how well they are doing, and what are the tasks that they need to do for the next few days.
– If the daily meeting is not held at a predictable place and time, it can cause people to get late, or get confused, and for something that should be easily able to arrange (having the meeting at a regular place and time), it just does not make sense to not be able to have the meeting at a regular place and time.
– Teams need to be co-located. In times when ‘The World is Flat’, and when work can be offshored, it seems perfectly fine to have teams at different time intervals and time zones. However, consider the fact that a Scrum meeting involves only around 7-10 people, so it really should not be too much trouble to have a team at the same location. A Daily Scrum meeting has a certain flow, and part of that comes from all being in the same location (and people can say that they had effective meetings with cross-location teams, but it makes sense to have teams from the same location)
– Watch out for egos in the meeting. If there is some kind of politics in the team, it can quickly make the Daily Scrum meeting degenerate into something that is not effective any more. You need to step in and resolve things quickly, else you have lost your meeting.
– I said this earlier, and will so say so again. If you are the ScrumMaster or the Dev / QE Lead, and are looking at the Daily Scrum meeting as a way to get correct status for the project, change your stand. The Daily Scrum is a way for the team to regroup every day, not for you to harass the team everyday for a status (there is no easier way of turning them against the concept of a Daily Scrum meeting)
– Once in a while, it is good to get external people who are experience with Scrum to be silent listeners. There could be things going wrong with the meetings that you are not able to diagnose since you are too close, and some other expert in Scrum can figure out by being present in the meetings for a few occasions.
– Don’t get into problem solving mode in the meeting. One of the critical areas of the project is suffering because of a problem, and when you hear of this the first time, you are tempted to try to solve it then and there. However, remember that there are more people there who do not want to hear this, and who will be tempted to want to get their urgent problems solved the same way.

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