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Scrum: Ensuring that the Scrum Master does not take control of the Daily Scrum meeting

The Daily Scrum meeting is a meeting that is critical to a project which is being run as per Scrum methodology. It provides the Scrum team with a platform where the team members can update each other with what they have done, what they are planning on doing, as well as any issues that they are facing; basically:
– What they have done since the last meeting
– What they are planning on doing till the next meeting
– Any issues that are blocking them
Also important is the concept that in the Daily Scrum meeting, the team members are in a position of stating these updates to each other and are not doing so to a manager. In many teams, the Scrum Master is somebody who is senior to the other team members or was a manager of the team earlier, and hence it is not natural to present your update to each other rather than to the senior person sitting in the room. As a result, soon it becomes a situation where everybody is focused towards the Scrum Master and it becomes more of a status presentation to a manager rather than sharing it with the team. This may not happen in one day, it may not happen at all, but there is a high chance that it will cause some amount of loss of empowerment in the team.
Now, in many cases, the Scrum Master cannot be directly blamed for this. He or she has been part of the same training that the team has had, and knows that in the Daily Scrum meeting, the team needs to talk to each other rather than to the Scrum Master. So, when the Scrum Master sees that in the Daily Scrum meeting, on a regular basis, people are turning towards the Scrum Master and talking to him / her rather than to each other, there are things that can be done:
– The Scrum Master can not respond by looking at the person who is looking towards the Scrum Master while speaking
– The Scrum Master can suggest to the person speaking that they do not look directly at one point, but instead talk as they would normally do to a group, looking one way or the other
– The Scrum Master can walk up and move in a direction other than towards the person who is speaking
There are a number of such tricks that can be employed by the Scrum Master to ensure that the members of the Scrum team do not seem to be talking to the Scrum Master, and doing so towards the rest of the team, as in a discussion or sharing details with the rest of the team. And of course, the Scrum Master can have a discussion with the team (not in the Daily Scrum meeting) to re-confirm that the Daily Scrum meeting is meant for the team to share details with each other and not with the Scrum Master. In many cases, this needs to happen a couple of times before it really sinks into the team and they run the Daily Scrum meeting the way they should.

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