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Absence or PO and SM - sprint events

Last post 09:35 am November 30, 2022 by Lavina Ganshani
8 replies
07:32 am July 1, 2022

Should events be cancelled if Scrum Master is on leave/vacation? Should Sprint start/end should change if PO/SM is on leave?

07:45 am July 1, 2022

How should team handle such scenarios. Currently SM delays/cancels the events.

03:41 pm July 1, 2022

The events have specific meaning and are for the entire team to participate. If you have a true self-managing, self-organizing team, they should be able to continue with events when someone is missing.  In fact, when I am in a Scrum Master role, I will frequently not attend events so that the team did not start depending on me to "run" them.  

This also goes to the type of trust that the team has.  In a good self-managing, self-organizing team, everyone will have the trust that no one will intentionally do any harm and that they will do whatever it takes to make the team successful.  No one person is so important that they cannot miss an event.

My opinion is that no events should be cancelled because any member of the Scrum Team is not available. The Scrum cadence should not be disrupted because the repeating cadence is to help the team become more consistent and predictable. If someone knows that they will be out, they should take steps to inform other members on the team anything that would need to be communicated.

04:49 pm July 1, 2022

Should events be cancelled if Scrum Master is on leave/vacation? Should Sprint start/end should change if PO/SM is on leave?

Nope. The only reason to cancel Scrum events would be if the Sprint Goal became obsolete, and the Product Owner no longer considered that goal worth pursuing. The Sprint time-box and the events it contains might then be canceled.

If Sprint Goal obsolescence somehow occurred because a team member went on leave, you'd wonder why.

02:54 am July 3, 2022

Sometimes I think people get so wrapped up in interpreting the Scrum Guide, they lose perspective.

Of course a Scrum Master may go on vacation at some point in time. It would be nuts to think the Scrum Framework would suggest that all work must stop while one person sips Margaritas in the tropics.

Be Pragmatic

I also see things like "a developer cannot attend the daily scrum, what should they do?"

Answers suggest forcing the developer to come, cancel the daily scrum, reschedule the daily scrum to another day, or have the developer email the team and let them know she'll be away.

If your sick, a family member dies, or you have to take your child to the hospital, then you deal with that in a professional manner. Scrum allows people to be pragmatic!

Scrum doesn't fall to pieces when life happens.



02:22 pm July 3, 2022

Exactly Darcy, as I often say and write, "don't leave your brain at home".  Check out the differences between Mechanical and Professional Scrum.

02:54 am August 8, 2022

Scrum events should never cancelled unless Sprint Goal becomes obsolete. All events are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. 

12:30 pm August 8, 2022

Agree with everyone that you  don't cancel because a team member is out.  I will say that a sprint review without the PO will be less effective, but you can manage!

10:43 pm November 29, 2022

The show must go on! Therefore, a SM master should promote a culture of cross-functionality, where the team can function smoothly in the absence of a team member, be it a SM, PO or a Developer.

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