March 21, 2022

Making your Scrum Events Lean – Identifying the Wastes

The new Scrum Guide 2020 mentions Scrum is founded on empiricism and lean thinking.

“Lean thinking reduces waste and focuses on the essentials.”

“Eliminate Waste” is the first of the seven Lean principles which focuses on eliminate anything that does not add value to the customer, and identification of “waste” is the 1st step toward ways to eliminate those wastes from the system.

While Scrum Events remove the need for any other meeting, at times unintended wastes get injected in those events.

In this article, let’s take Daily Scrum as an example to help understand, identifying and eliminating the 8 wastes.

  • Defects: Are we sharing meaningful information? Or are we hiding real progress and impediments?
  • Overproduction: Are we sharing more than a day’s progress toward the Sprint Goal? Are they producing actionable plan for more than the next day of work? 
  • Waiting: Are all members joining on time? Do they realize not joining on time diminishes respect for peer developer’s time and commitment toward collaboration? Are Developers holding those members accountable who are regularly late?
  • Non-Utilized Talent: Does everyone get a chance and everyone gets heard? Do they realize by not having every member participate limits self-management, reduces communication, impedes decision making and renders Daily Scrum ineffective?
  • Transport: Are updates transferred across different channels like email, boards, etc.? Does Scrum Master become a scribe who updates Team’s board?
  • Inventory: Are our previous day’s impediments and blockers resolved? Or they pile up as systemic challenges and no one takes courage to resolve those?
  • Motion: Are we holding the Daily Scrum at different places every working day? Do members have to walk too far from work area for Daily Scrum?
  • Excess Processing: Is a Status Report being prepared for Management? Does the detailed discussion signify Developers are not collaborating throughout the day and are only meeting in Daily Scrum?


Now that you get an idea on what wastes to look for in your next Daily Scrum, try on your own for what to look for in the other Scrum events.

What is next?

Coach your Scrum Team on increasing effectiveness by looking out for the 8 Lean Wastes hidden in how they conduct the Scrum events and helping them eliminate those so they can focus on essentials.

Thanks for reading and if you want to learn more about Scrum, gain more insights on the Scrum framework you can visit our website