Disruption on daily scrum

Last post 04:13 am May 6, 2021
7 replies
12:11 pm May 4, 2021

Hi all,

during a daily scrum meeting someone with authority like an IT manager step in and disrupt the team by asking questions . Normally SM is not there . Shall the team handle this on its own as a self managed team or let this to be handled  by SM . If indeed was resolved by the team shall the SM be notified ? 

12:16 pm May 4, 2021

Yes. All of these things.

06:51 pm May 4, 2021

The Developers own the Daily Scrum and it is entirely for their benefit.  Many of the teams I work with will have a "parking lot" of items to discuss in more detail after the Daily Scrum is done.  The Scrum Team is allowed to self-organize and self-manage and that includes the events. 

If there is "someone with authority" that is interrupting the purpose of the Daily Scrum, the team is absolutely within their rights to ask them to wait until after they have finished the Daily Scrum and offer alternative ways to get the answer that individual is seeking.  The Scrum Master needs to know because this falls within their responsibility of helping the organization understand the Scrum Framework and how to interact effectively with the Scrum Team. 

04:47 am May 5, 2021

So if his interaction remains annoying and the manager insists in disrupting is the SM responsibility to step in ? Shall the developers by some way persevere to solve this issue or there is a border line that this become impediment? 

05:03 am May 5, 2021

There would be something for everyone to do.

  • It's the Developers' Daily Scrum, so they need to ensure it is being implemented effectively and is held at the right time and place.
  • The Scrum Master needs to explain which behaviours are helpful and unhelpful. 
  • The Product Owner needs to ensure stakeholder interests are represented in the Product Backlog and that value is not compromised by interference.
09:27 am May 5, 2021

When this interaction can be considered as impediment? If the team cannot handle this ? And there is another point here : if the dev team is afraid to escalate this how can the SM that is not participating know about this ? 

05:49 pm May 5, 2021

It is an impediment when the developers say it is, whether they can handle it on their own or not.  An impediment is something that prevents something from happening.  The developers are the only ones that can recognize this is an impediment.

If the developers are afraid to escalate there is much bigger problem than the manager interrupting.  This indicates a lack of trust that others can/will help.  It shows a environment of fear which will influence their decisions and could compromise their ability to produce value in the right way. It shows that the organization is not fully supportive of the Scrum Teams being able to self-organize, self-manage, and in the decisions being made by the people that are doing the work. 

I see a lot of work for the Scrum Master and Product Owner to educate the rest of the organization on how to best interact with the Scrum Team. I see work for the Scrum Master to help the Scrum Team feel empowered.

Unfortunately the situation that you are describing is common and there is no one way to address it.  I suggest you start trying to incrementally improve by doing something, inspecting the result, and adapting as necessary.  Sounds familiar doesn't it?  That is because the empirical model and practices do not only apply to software being developed.  It has unlimited uses.  When it was established, software wasn't a word in any language. 

04:13 am May 6, 2021


As per my point of view, It is the responsibility of the Scrum Master to ensure that team is doing Daily Scrum effectively without any external impediments or hurdles. Scrum Master has to teach or guide the "IT Manager" regarding the importance of Daily Scrum. If the "IT Manger" will understand the importance of Daily Scrum then automatically the problem will be resolved without any conflict or argument.  And as Danial said, obviously from next time he will come for discussion in Parking Lot. Finally, Scrum Master should be proactive to handle this kind of situation in a team or in the organization. 

If an organization is new in agile transformation then this type of situation may occur. But after some time, by teaching/coaching/guiding the scrum values, we can reduce this type of conflict/impediments.