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Daily Scrum: Some roles played by the Scrum Master – time keeper and focus

The Daily Scrum meeting is one of the most important part of Scrum, and given the number of such meetings that happen, it is also one of the most happening meetings for the team. Every day, the team gets together (typically close to the start of the day) and one by one, they discuss what they have done since the last meeting, what they are planning on doing till the next meeting, and whether they are facing any issues (and hopefully these are only the issues that they have not been able to resolve on their own, and wanted to highlight to the Scrum Master or to their colleagues for help in resolving).
One of the key roles in the whole process is that of the Scrum Master; in most teams that have made the transition from some other form of development methodology to going towards Scrum, it is one of the managers or the leads who would become the scrum master; the difference being that the Scrum master is not expected to actually drive the team in terms of managing them or allocating work, or something similar to that. The team is a self-driven team, defining their own processes and the Scrum Master works best by driving the team towards a certain decision rather than telling them what to do.
As a part of the Daily Scrum, the Scrum Master is expected to attend the meeting and work with the team, and when the team points out impediments, the Scrum Master is expected to collate these impediments and work towards resolving them – this could mean setting up the technical folks required to discuss and come to a solution for technical issues, or it could mean working with other stakeholders to resolve non-technical issues (and there can be many non-technical issues that can plague a Scrum team).
Another area where the Scrum Master can play a key role is that of time keeper. Most teams like to ensure that their Daily Scrum does not last more than 15 minutes on a regular basis, since longer meetings start to put off people who do not have an interest in the issues being discussed that are taking up the time of the meeting. Whenever the Scrum Master sees meetings being longer than 15 minutes, it is time for the Scrum Master to review what is happening and figure out why the meeting is going over; once the Scrum Master has figured these reasons out to some degree, the Scrum master can then discuss these with the team and work out solution.
Also, during the Daily Scrum, the Scrum master can play an active role, looking at discussions that are starting to become more involved or getting off-topic and point those out to the team, suggesting that these discussions may be postponed for a later discussion, the Daily Scrum is not the proper place to have such discussions. Doing this ensures that the Scrum master is seen as the time keeper, and the team has a confidence that a minimal amount of time is wasted in the meeting.

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