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Ghosts of Agile Past: The 3 Questions

January 8, 2024

Are Your Daily Scrums Truly Driving Value?

Many teams are trapped in the ghosts of Agile past, adhering rigidly to the three fundamental questions of the daily scrum: What did I do yesterday? What am I doing today? And what's blocking me? While these questions are not inherently problematic, they often lead teams into a cycle of repetition and routine, diverting focus from the real goal: delivering value.

As a scrum practitioner, I've observed teams going through the motions, treating these meetings as a tick-box exercise rather than a dynamic platform for discussion and improvement. This habitual approach leads to a stagnation in creativity and productivity, undermining the very essence of Agile. The dysfunction becomes apparent when these questions overshadow the purpose of meetings, turning them into monotonous rituals rather than sessions of meaningful collaboration and problem-solving.

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The shift needs to begin with a focus on value and outcomes. Rather than asking what each team member did, we should be asking how their actions contribute to the sprint goal and the overall project objectives. It's about understanding the impact of our work and how it aligns with the broader vision. This approach not only enhances the relevance of daily scrums and retrospectives but also fosters a culture of responsibility and continuous improvement.

The path to revitalising our Agile practices isn't through scrapping what we know but rather through reframing and enriching it. We need to evolve from a mindset of task completion to one of value creation. It's about looking at the bigger picture, understanding the 'why' behind our actions, and continuously aligning our efforts with the desired outcomes.

Key Topics:

  • The Limitation of Traditional Agile Questions
  • Dysfunctional Focus in Agile Meetings
  • Shifting Focus to Value and Outcomes
  • Approaches for More Effective Meetings
  • Overcoming Outdated Agile Practices

Are Your Daily Scrums Truly Driving Value?

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