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Scrum: Encouraging people to raise impediments in the Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum is one of the most important meetings that are held as part of the Scrum development methodology, and since they are held on every working day, they are also the most frequent meeting that happens. What happens in the Daily Scrum ? Each team member provides an update to the team on the following:
– What work item they have completed since the previous meeting
– What work item will they be working on till the next meeting
– What are some of the impediments or obstacles that could be blocking them
The last item, the one about the impediments is critical. Obstacles are items that could be blocking the team member from making progress, or these could be organizational issues that are causing morale issues (which means that they could be time critical or could be over a longer period of time, but still critical). The team which works in a positive and reinforcing environment is one where team members are not hesitant to list out impediments that could be causing them problems. When a team member is actually talking about a technical or design issue, teams now actually expect that the team member would have made an attempt to resolve the impediment (through discussions with the relevant team members or outsiders). When a team member brings an unresolved impediment to the Daily Scrum, the expectation is that the Scrum Master will help pick it up and resolve it.
But what happens when you have a team where the team members are hesitant to raise impediments during the Daily Scrum ? This would be a big problem since now issues that could be blocking the team do not get raised as they should, which would reduce the effectiveness and productivity of the team. And if there are non-design issues that are causing problems to the team members (say issues about the tools being used), they also need to get raised – in some cases, the team is just wanting to raise an issue without expecting that some of them will get solved. Why does something like this happen ?
– The team has not seen a good success rate with the issues having been raised earlier and don’t feel that there is any purpose in raising such issues in the meeting
– The Scrum Master does not seem very encouraging in respect of issues that the Scrum Master feels will not get resolved easily
– There is an air about the meeting which does not encourage the raising of impediments
– When somebody raises a technical or design impediment, the matter is raised directly back to them to figure out a way to resolve them. The expectation that the team has is that they have tried to resolve these, and have not been able to do so, hence these have been raised in the Daily Scrum meeting
– The team is under so much pressure that people just come there for the Daily Scrum meeting but because of the pressure, are not able to raise the issues that they have in their heads (a number of people are not so organized that they will have a written list of issues that they want to raise).
– More such reasons

There is no single solution, it is for the team and the Scrum Master to look at these different situations and come out with measures that will eventually ensure that impediments are raised in the meeting.

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