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Taking back the Daily Scrum

December 17, 2014

This is what you might know as the daily ‘stand up.’  It is the most abused, tortured and mistreated meeting in Scrum.  Or not even Scrum.  If nothing else, this is usually the part of Scrum that organizations adopt and keep.  If they do nothing else then they do this.  And boy do they do it!  This meeting is too good for 15mins, let’s keep it going for 45!  There are some common anti-patterns that I have come across during this meeting so I thought that I would share them with you.  See if you recognize them from your daily scrum.

The WaterBoarder

Torture.  Plain and Simple.  I am going to keep you standing up for 45 minutes whilst everyone tells me what exactly they did yesterday and what they plan to do tomorrow.  Have a problem with the binary search function?   Lets discuss it whilst we all stand here listening.  Hey the 10 of us have nothing better to do.


The 8 Teams of 1 Person

We are not a team.  We work on our own.  We talk once a day at this ‘mandated’ meeting.  Then we each go our separate ways until tomorrow.  We work on one task / story each.  So we give our update.  Then we have to listen to 7 others give theirs.  But we don’t care.  It does not affect us in any way other than having to stand through this boring meeting.



The Wall Talker

He approaches the board.  He stops.  He looks around and starts talking.  Quietly.  No-one can hear him because he is talking to a wall.  Everyone strains to hear, and then gives up.



The Over Sharer

I know that I didn’t finish much yesterday but let me explain why.  Well I had an unscheduled meeting from 10 until 11.  I then got a call from my mother in law who said that she had a sore knee.  I had to leave work early to drive her to the hospital and then take her home…..



The Goldfish Memory

I can’t remember what I did yesterday.



The Photographic Memory

Arrives with pages of notes to read from to justify quite how busy they really are.



The Shaver (aka The Hidden Impediment)

That task that was 6 hours yesterday.  Today it has 5 hours left.  Tomorrow it will be 4 hours.  Even though you worked on it all day.  You need help.  You know it and we know it.  Please ask your team, one of them would love to help you.


Now for the really controversial part.  Who said that you have to stand up?  Really?  Why don't you check that again...

Want to sit down at your Daily Scrum, do it.  If any of these meetings sound like yours then maybe it’s time for a change.  We stood up because the meetings were short.  If the meeting isn’t short why are you standing up?
Photo licensed via Creative Commons


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