And Advise for the Scrum Master
In a CSM class, one of the people asked the following question about the Scrum standup:
We deal with somewhat of a duplicity of Scrum standups, both in our functional groups as well as with the project teams. I’m wondering, do you have thoughts about how to operate in a Scrum environment without having individuals need to report basically the same activities in separate meetings?
My thoughts are to separate the goals of a stand-up from the goals of reporting.
The primary goal of a stand-up meeting in Scrum is for the people who work together to inform, help and inspire each other to get the Sprint finished successfully. The people in the development team talk to each other; not to the ScrumMaster. The ScrumMaster can hear a progress update, but it is not the goal. My advise to new teams/ScrumMasters is to not talk about progress or numbers at all, just get the collaboration between team members going so they become a “performing team”. If people participate in two teams (or more) then they participate in two stand-ups, but the information they exchange is different.
Reporting is also necessary. The ScrumMaster has to produce reports to management about progress, problems, budgets etc. The formal view in Scrum is that this only makes sense after a Sprint: was the Sprint goal met, were all planned stories accepted, and what value was delivered to the Product Owner. An often used report is the Release Burn-up Chart (which we discussed at the very end of the second day). Usually I add a budget burn chart and a defect count chart to this report. (If you like an example report, then contact me.)
Often the various stakeholders want a progress update from a team during a Sprint. This is where the burn-down chart is useful, and the ScrumMaster needs to collect the data to produce it. Initially, just visit each team member every day, talk about how things are going, maybe a follow up from the stand-up meeting, and ask for the number of hours needed to finish the tasks in progress. Stress on the fact that it is just an estimate; that the details don’t go to anybody, you’re just producing a chart – no names, just an indicator of the chances of finishing the Sprint on time. Make the chart very visible in the team room. Between the burn-down chart and the talks in the stand-up meeting you have the information you need to talk to your management.
Questions? Comments? Please start a conversation and we can learn from each other!