The Only Question To Answer At The Daily

  • Léo Davesne

How awesome is your Daily Scrum? Does it fall flat or does it launch the day, generating energy?

The Daily Scrum is to me the most important meeting of the day. The impact of this super short gathering is immense. How many times did we discover that we weren't on the right path, that two people were actually working on the same task, that oh, yeah, it's actually quite cool to talk to each other!

I could write pages and pages of key moments that happened during the “Daily” that saved us from actual (or future) difficult situations.

15 Minutes per Day

The thing is that we spend a lot of time dailying: 2h30 maximum* in a 2 weeks' Sprint, the only longer meeting being the Sprint Planning (4 hours maximum in that configuration). And because it seems fast and easy, we naturally tend to make it quick and dirty, especially because of the misunderstanding regarding the questions we answer there.

That's it from my side

What do I bring to the table? This is the part we usually share: “What did I do yesterday, what will I do today and what are the obstacles along the way?”. This is the part we all know, but this is just the beginning.

Help the team

What could I do to help the team? Meaning it is highly possible that I will do a way more things than “just” programming something.

Developing is important of course, but without deployment, discussions, tests, review, communication, re-tests, refactoring… development is useless.

To help the team, I can pair with a peer, fix the build, remove an impediment, prepare the review, assist the Product Owner, write a useful unit test, test the code of a fellow developer, review some code of my squad, support the Scrum Master, propose some help, etc.

Meet the goal

It is already a way more interesting: it's not only about me anymore, we are a team now, cool!

Ok but where do we go all together? What's the point of moving forward if we don't know where we go? The Sprint Goal, that mix between the Sprint Backlog (living during the Sprint) and the short sentence describing our objectives, keeps us focused and leads us to success.

Me, team, goal

Which brings us to the question to answer at the Daily, the real one from the Scrum Guide:

What will I do today to help the Development Team to meet the Sprint Goal?

Heading to a lively Daily

And suddenly it is engaging! It's not only about me but about the whole team and how we plan and execute to achieve the Sprint Goal. Now we talk, now we share challenges and rise to them together. It's not a dead status anymore but a living exchange! We will naturally communicate what we've done, what we plan to do today and the obstacles along the way.

The Daily is about human beings gathered to target a goal. Every member of that trio (me, the team and the goal) resonates with the others. Like with a tripod, if you miss a leg, the ensemble falls. By doing so, the level of energy will rise, the day will be launched and you will look forward to the next one!

*10 days of work for a 2 weeks' Sprint so 10 x 15 minutes maximum per Daily = 150 minutes = 2h30 maximum all combined

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