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Preventing the Daily Scrum meeting from becoming a chore …

This tends to fall towards becoming somewhat of a controversial topic. The Daily Scrum meeting is one of the most important meetings to happen during the Sprint cycle, happening on a daily basis, even if the meeting is of a short duration. The Daily Scrum meeting is essentially a quick meeting where the team gathers to discuss the following items:
– What work was done yesterday ?
– What work will be done today ?
– What is blocking team members from getting their work done ?
This format is pretty simple, but the way a Daily Status meeting runs can vary from team to team. There are some teams that are not very comfortable with the idea of such a meeting happening on a Daily Basis and show their discomfort by quibbling on different items; there are other teams that want to go strictly by the book and spend time on a rule based method of running the Daily Scrum meeting and ensure that every meeting follows such rules, and there are teams that keep on evaluating what is happening and how can the progress of the Daily Scrum meeting be made more effective (and you might know of other teams that behave differently with regard to the Daily Scrum meeting).
One of the major problems that teams end up with regards to the Daily Scrum meeting is that the meeting starts to become routine, dull and dreary (mind, not just routine, but also where the team ends up feeling dull). In such a situation, the performance of the team will start to fail, since the innovation that you would like to see in a Scrum meeting starts to decline. As an example, a Scrum Master started seeing that, earlier, the team members would get together after the Daily Scrum meeting to see whether the issues presented in the meeting could be discussed and resolved, but the tendency of team members to initiate and attend such discussions was on the decline. This was a worrying factor for the Scrum Master, but not something that the Scrum Master could resolve easily, since the Daily Scrum meeting was not something that was officially controlled by the Scrum Master, more like the Scrum master was coordinating the meeting.
One way that the Scrum Master can indeed contribute to prevent the meeting from becoming a bore is by trying out some variations that will keep people interested. Some kind of game to ensure that the team keeps their interest levels high, or by frequently polling the team about the timing of the meeting or the objectives of the meeting, or the order in which people speak – all of these can ensure that there is some amount of interest that people have in the meeting.
Another way to generate interest is through an open discussion with the team members about whether they believe that the Daily Scrum is providing them value, or they think that it is more of a regular meeting rather than something that provides them useful information; or by raising other topics about the way that the meetings might be more useful (even if some of these do contradict the way that the meetings were happening in the past). All of these go a long way towards ensuring that these meetings do not become dull and dreary.

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