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Contradiction in Scrum Guide

Last post 02:25 am August 18, 2015 by Eshan Baranwal
4 replies
10:10 am August 17, 2015


I am currently studying to take the PSM1 exam, and upon reading the scrum guide a couple of times I noticed this weird little contradiction.

In the role of the scrum master, it says
"The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules."

Later, this gets contradicted in my opinion at the Daily Scrum section, with the following text:
"The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. The Scrum Master teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.
The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum."

According to the second quote, it's the Scrum Master's role to make sure the Development Team has the meeting, and that it sticks to the timebox of 15 minutes. But shouldn't the Scrum Master also make sure that all 3 questions or answered, as this is part of "ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules"?

This would also change the answer to the question about the Scrum Master's role in the Open Assessment.

Would like to get some input on this, and hear some different opinions on this. (Excuses for the lack of paragraphs, I saw no help with formatting. If someone could point me out how to do paragraphs I'll edit this)

12:08 pm August 17, 2015

Sometimes the three questions are a good starting point, but a team often finds better ways of replacing its work daily. We will ensure the inspect and adapt basic to replacing, and ensure the three questions if that is the best way to do so or the best way for the team to learn it.
What question in the Scrum Open does this contradict?
And, why are you worried about contradictions if you are following and even greater contractions, a PMI certification of Agile and Scrum?
Ken Schwaber

12:16 pm August 17, 2015

The Scrum Master is not a required attendee at the Daily Scrum. When Scrum is applied properly, the Development Team will self-organize each and every occurrence. Therefore a Scrum Master is not necessarily in a position to witness how a Scrum is conducted, although he or she should be close enough to the team's work to observe the fact that one is being held.

If the SM has reason to believe that the event is not being conducted appropriately, then he or she should step in and coach the team to use the right techniques.

01:14 am August 18, 2015

Hi Jeroen,

In spite of ensuring that the Development Team has the meeting, the Scrum Master should teach and ensure the DT understand the purpose of the meeting.

The three questions are just a starting point, the purpose is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog.

Most importantly, Daily Scrum is not a “Status Report” by “ANSWERING” the three questions, but “EXPLAINING” these three topics to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours.

I just tried the Scrum Open for 3 times to get the only one question might be similar to what you concerned.

What is the main reason for the Scrum Master to be at the Daily Scrum?
A: He or she does not have to be there; he or she only has to ensure the Development Team has a Daily Scrum.
B: To write down any changes to the Sprint Backlog, including adding new items, and tracking progress on the burn-down.
C: To make sure every team member answers the three questions.
D: To gather status and progress information to report to management.

The correct answer is A.

Just for your reference.

02:25 am August 18, 2015

Daily Scrum's main focus should be on synchronization and figuring out Impediments/obstacles and hence its puprose can be achieved by DT solely as they are self-organized. Scrum master only needs to observe if DT team understand the importance of this meet and get benefited. though if SM is part of DT, he may attend Daily Scrum otherwise he is not required to participate.

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