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Task of a Scrum Master?

Last post 07:35 pm October 16, 2022 by Lars Devocht
4 replies
10:15 am October 13, 2022

I had an interesting discussion with some people last week about the following:

Is it the task of a Scrum Master to make sure that everyone is heard during a daily scrum meeting? One could argue that it is as a Scrum Master should facilitate open communication on the other hand there are many ways of getting the communication working and 'forcing' to get everyone to speak and listened to might not always be the way to fix certain group dynamics.

What do you think?

06:37 pm October 13, 2022

The Scrum Master is not even expected to be at the Daily Scrum.  That event is for and by the Developers. The Scrum Guide states 

If the Product Owner or Scrum Master are actively working on items in the Sprint Backlog, they participate as Developers.

Other than that, there is nothing saying the Scrum Master attends.  

That same section also says

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.

If a Scrum Master is to "make sure that everyone is heard during the daily scrum meeting" how does that support self-management?  

Also from the Scrum Guide are these statements of the Scrum Master's responsibility to the Scrum Team

The Scrum Master serves the Scrum Team in several ways, including:

  • Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;

  • Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;

  • Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress; and,

  • Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

I feel that your statement goes against the first bullet.  And as for the last bullet point, there are many ways to ensure that the Daily Scrum takes place, is positive, productive and kept within the timebox without even attending.  For example, are the Developers are being productive, meeting the Sprint Goals, delivering increments of value that meet the Definition of Done?


07:26 pm October 13, 2022

As Daniel mentioned, the Scrum Master isn't a required participant at the Daily Scrum. They would be present under one of two conditions: they are actively working on items in the Sprint Backlog and are participating as a Developer or the Developers have asked the Scrum Master to coach and facilitate the event.

If the Scrum Master has been asked to teach, coach, or facilitate, I would expect that they would be coaching the team in various techniques or methods to accomplish the objectives that are laid out in the Scrum Guide: inspecting progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapting the Sprint Backlog to reflect upcoming planned work. This may or may not require that "everyone is heard" during the Daily Scrum event.

08:08 pm October 13, 2022

Is it the task of a Scrum Master to make sure that everyone is heard during a daily scrum meeting?

Why would it be anyone's? Is there an impediment to their communication which ought to be overcome? Is this perhaps the only time they really get together and attempt to collaborate during the working day?

The purpose of the Daily Scrum is for the Developers to come up with a joint plan for the next 24 hours, not for each to be given a fair go at making some kind of noise.

07:35 pm October 16, 2022

If one of the Team members systematically is not being heard during the Daily Scrum, I would see it as a missed opportunity for inspection and adaptation caused by a lack of self-management. Systematically is an important nuance here. One of the ways a Scrum Master serves the Scrum Team, as mentioned in de Scrum Guide, is by serving the Scrum Team by "coaching the team members in self-management". 

Also, with a new Scrum Team, I can imagen that a Scrum Master teaches some facilitating techniques appropriate for the Daily Scrum event.

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