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Not converting the Daily Scrum into a status meeting …

We had a team whereby some of the managers of the team were starting to feel that they did not have a good feel for the project. When questioned about this, they were fairly apprehensive about not knowing the status of where certain features were, and how this was making them uneasy. So, what they would do was to pretend that they would remain silent in the Daily Scrum meeting and figure out where the team was, and derive their understanding of the current status of the project, and that this way they would not disturb the sanctity of the Daily Scrum meeting. A colleague of mine was the scrum master, and when he heard about their concern, he was apprehensive. These were fairly senior managers, and he was sure that things would go out of control, but he had no firm points really to back up his concerns, especially when these managers talked about the sanctity of the Daily Scrum, how they would not try run it, and so on. So, he decided (or rather, he was forced to) to let them attend the meetings with their intention, and since these were just 2 people, he pretended to move ahead.
However, these things never stop there. He slowly started observing that once in a while, they would not be satisfied with a particular statement by a Scrum team member, especially when the person described something that he was doing yesterday, and continued talking about the same matter for the next 2 days (you could just see them itching to do a hard cross-examination of why the person to find out why he could not complete the task on one day). After around a week, it just seemed to much for them to control, and the first simple question popped up when they were in the meeting, and pretty soon, there were more questions. This week also coincided with a time when the Scrum Master was out on leave (or maybe when the Scrum Master was out on leave, this seemed like a more easy time to ask these questions); when the scrum master came back to the office, he could see a change in the way that the Daily Scrum was happening.
Scrum team members seemed to be addressing the managers and trying to do justifications of why something took more time, and as a result, you could see the dynamics of the team change. The people seemed less enthusiastic, and he started seeing the first signs of people coming with paper based preparations, and the meeting time extended by around 10-15%. All of these seemed to be troublesome, and then a couple of people came up to the Scrum Master with queries that he had not heard for many weeks now – queries related to the role of Chickens and Pigs, queries related to the empowerment of the team, and so on. He talked to the team members to figure out what was going on, and learnt about what had happened, and how something that seemed simple was starting to break the power of making the team empowered to use Scrum.
There was no option – he went back to the managers with the problem, told them about what he had seen in the Daily Scrum meetings after coming back, and then worked with them to resolve the problems. Finally, they figured out that concern of status should not be figured out in the Daily Scrum meeting; the managers and the Scrum Master would prepare a special report that would look at the set of User Stories in the Scrum tool, and figure out level of completion, and also generate some inputs which could be fed to the team in a subtle way during the Sprint end introspection, and give the team a chance to work through some possible solutions.

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