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Product Management

Real Scrum problems of the Scrum Master role during the Daily Scrum meeting

The article describes real Scrum problems that the Scrum Master role often encounters in their workday during the Daily Scrum meeting.

The situations concern the relationship with the Product Owner role and the Development Team and explanations are described in terms of the Scrum Master role in the team.

All situations are based on BVOP.org’s recommendations on Scrum in their Agile Guide and in particular the Daily Scrum Meeting section. Reference: What is a Daily Scrum meeting and how to conduct this Agile event, BVOP.org 2019 https://bvop.org/learnagile/daily-scrum/

Table of Contents

The meeting starts and a member of the Development team starts asking questions to the other participants.

This member of the team today took on the role of host of the meeting. It should be monitored what questions it asks and whether they do not provoke lengthy discussions that are not the subject of discussion in this meeting. Another thing to be careful about is whether this member will not take the initiative tomorrow and try to establish himself as a leader and assign tasks.

You receive an email from the marketing department upstairs. As they do not know where the Daily Scrum meeting is, they ask you to show it to them in advance so that they are not late.

I kindly explain to them that no outsiders are present at this meeting – only the Development Team and the Scrum Master. Product Owner can be involved if the team needs his assistance and explanations of the tasks. Reference: Product Owner role in Scrum and real problem situations, vbprojects.org 2020

A representative of your client is on a business trip to your office, but only for a very short time. He will leave early in the morning tomorrow. 15 minutes before your meeting, a team member asks you to call him so that he can provide as much important information as possible while he is here.

This information that the customer’s representative can provide is given to the Product Owner. Reference: What makes a good Product Owner and what do they do?, scrumtime.org 2020 And he interprets it in tasks in the Product Backlog and gives explanations to the team. A representative of the client has no place at the Daily Scrum meetings, as well as to be accountable at this meeting.

Your colleague is late for your Daily Scrum meeting and has sent the following email with the answers to the usual team questions:
“Hello! Yesterday I was working on recovering the user password. It is not ready yet and I am continuing today. I think I will succeed by the end of the day. I encountered several problems, but I bypassed them quite flexibly.”

Problems must be solved, not “flexibly circumvented”. With circumvention, they do not disappear but only increase, and in the future, it will be more difficult to resolve. This colleague must share what problems he has encountered and solve them together with the team.

During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others:
“Yesterday I was working on uploading a profile picture for users. Today I will create several automated tests with different common situations to make sure there are no shoots. It turned out that the test server does not have libraries installed for all supported photo file formats. I will go down to the Development Operation colleagues today and ask them to put them on, and then I will tell you. In the meantime, know that you may encounter this problem as well. “

It is not the job of the colleague to go down to other departments and ask them for anything. He correctly shares what problem he has encountered so that the others on the team are aware. The Scrum Master is the one who has to take measures to solve the problem. Reference: Scrum example team and projects scenarios, phron.org

During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others:
“Yesterday I was in the designers’ room to discuss the graphics for the next sprint. Today I will integrate all the icons in the registration form. I think there will be a small problem, but I will manage.”

The colleague should not discuss things that will be done in the next sprint. This is done on the planning of the respective sprint. In the current sprint we only take care of the tasks from it.
He thinks there will be a problem and thinks he can handle it, but he doesn’t really share with the team what the problem might be. If he shares, one of his colleagues can give an idea of ​​how to prevent it before it appears.

Your Product Owner comes to your Daily Scrum meeting just before it ends and politely asks everyone to repeat what they have shared, because after a while he will meet with a representative of the client who has asked him for an up-to-date development situation.

I will remind him that the meeting has a specific time frame and there is no way to repeat everything said so far at the end of the meeting and to observe 15 minutes. I remind you that the meetings are in the same place every day and start at a specific time. and may attend the next meeting if it comes from the beginning. At this point, I would suggest that he look at the Burndown chart from which he can see what the work is done and what remains.

Just before your Daily Scrum meeting, your director sent you the following email:
“Hello! Can colleagues from another department come to your daily team meeting to observe how your Scrum events are going? I promise they won’t interfere in any way.”

I will kindly refuse and explain to him that outsiders should not be present, because their intervention would interfere with the purpose of the meeting – short and tight. The team inspects its own work, each sharing what works and what problems they have and together they find solutions.
I could help the other department by organizing a short training to introduce them to the topic in detail.

One of the members of the Development team asked your product owner to attend the meeting to share important information, but the others are strongly against, as they believe that your Product Owner will understand important details about how they are implemented and this will disrupt Development. their harmony.

Product Owner is part of the Scrum team and has the right to know details. Reference: Professional Scrum Master vs Professional Scrum Developer, stc-montreal.org 2019 They need to be reminded of transparency and that everyone needs to know how and what others are doing.

In addition to Sprint Planning, the Development team should have already explained to Scrum Master and Product Owner how they intend to achieve the goal of the sprint, so there is nothing so different to understand if the Product Owner participates in the meeting. Reference: Be a Product Owner, PMI.org

Daily Scrum your meeting is running. Tomorrow is the last day of the sprint. A few User Stories remain unfinished, which are absolutely certain that they cannot be completed by tomorrow.

The fact that the work is lagging behind should have been seen earlier in the Burndown chart, and not until the last day. This is the idea of ​​the meeting – self-inspection and undertaking a change in work so as to achieve the goal of the sprint.

A member of the Development team says that he tried all day yesterday to speed up the answers of your client’s marketing department. They take too long to answer and do not send him the information he needs to complete his work.

The problem for this team member is that he has been involved in activities that are not his tasks and has lost 1 day. The Customer liaises with the Product Owner and he receives any information from them. He should have dealt with the problem if his colleague had shared it with him immediately.

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