What Product Owner, Scrum Master do in Daily Scrum?

Last post 03:00 pm March 16, 2021
by Daniel Wilhite
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03:47 am March 15, 2021

Hi!

According to the Scrum Guide, If the Product Owner or Scrum Master is actively working on items in the Sprint Backlog, they will join as a Developer.

So What Product Owner, Scrum Master do in Daily Scrum?

Below is my opinion, let me know it's right or wrong.

SM and PO can join the Daily Scrum together.

SM observes and makes suggestions for Development Team to properly implement the Daily Scrum, such as take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

By being available at the Daily Scrum, PO may be able to directly answer the Development Team’s questions to unblock their work. PO may also have important additional information about the business context of their work that will make their lives easier. Chime in if it’s quick or wait till after the Daily Scrum to share his thoughts.

All the best! 

07:09 pm March 15, 2021

So What Product Owner, Scrum Master do in Daily Scrum?

Why would they be there at all? The rest of the working day is available for Developers to collaborate with others.

If the Product Owner and Scrum Master need to turn up in precisely that 15-minute time-box -- which is for Developers to stand aside and take stock of their progress towards the Sprint Goal -- what on earth's going on?

10:43 am March 16, 2021

What the Product Owner and Scrum Master do in the Daily Scrum depends on their role.

If one or both are also Developers, then they participate as Developers. In order to be a Developer, they must be "committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint". They will work with the rest of the Developers to inspect the progress toward the Sprint Goal and plan the next day to make progress toward that goal.

If they are not Developers, it depends on the team. The current (November 2020) revision of the Scrum Guide states that the Daily Scrum is an "event for the Developers of the Scrum Team", without any mention of how the Product Owner and Scrum Master fit in.

The Scrum Master includes services such as "ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox" and "causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress", which opens the door to facilitating the Daily Scrum. If the Developers need this kind of assistance, I would expect them to ask. It's important that the Scrum Master helps the team work toward self-organization and self-management, meaning that the Developers should be able to conduct the Daily Scrum without regular facilitation from the Scrum Master.

In previous editions of the Scrum Guide, there was further guidance on the role of the Scrum Master in the Daily Scrum: "If others are present, the Scrum Master ensures that they do not disrupt the meeting." Since the Daily Scrum was described as "an internal meeting" for the Developers, "others" would include the Product Owner or any other stakeholders. However, this guidance was removed from the November 2020 revision.

Personally, I think it makes sense to have the Product Owner present at the Daily Scrum. Not only can they immediately answer questions and provide background information quickly, but if the Developers need more in-depth discussions, the Product Owner can schedule time with the team right then and there. The Product Owner also has work to do throughout the day, so being able to plan the next day and make sure that the Developers are getting the support that they need is vital. The biggest concern is to prevent the Daily Scrum from turning into the Developers providing a status report to the Product Owner.

03:00 pm March 16, 2021

Since the Daily Scrum is a 15 minute event for the Developers I believe that they should be the ones to let the Product Owner and Scrum Master how they should participate or if they even do.  Yes, if the Product Owner or Scrum Master is also contributing to the work of turning the Sprint Backlog into done increments, then they contribute as developers.  But they should take care not to contribute as Product Owner or Scrum Master.  The focus of the event is for the developers to adjust their work for the coming day based upon information gained in the previous day. If the Developers feel that having the other two roles of the Scrum Team present would be beneficial, then let them invite those roles and explain to them how they see their involvement.

This passage from the current Scrum Guide states it pretty clearly for me.

The Developers can select whatever structure and techniques they want, as long as their Daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal and produces an actionable plan for the next day of work. This creates focus and improves self-management.