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Visitors should be allowed in Daily Scrum

Near the end of the "Daily Scrum" sections it says: "The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum."

Change to: "The Daily Scrum is primarily an internal meeting for the Development Team. The Scrum Master may allow outside observers or participants, as long as they don’t disrupt the meeting"

Rationale for replacing this paragraph: The team is responsible for doing their best to achieve the sprint goal, so it must be OK for them to involve external participants as they see fit. Teams rarely exist in isolation, they are part of a greater system and need to be empowered to collaborate. Also, if we forbid the team to invite others to the daily scrum, that conflicts with the transparency principle, and invites suboptimization.

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    Henrik Kniberg shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →


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      • Andrea Feraco commented  · 

        I suggest to change the sentence "The daily scrum is an internal meeting for the development team" in "The daily scrum is a meeting for the development team".
        With my colleagues we were discussing the daily scrum and why other people could be allowed though they should not disrupt the meeting. And I meant that other people could be present for a matter of transparency, because the team should discuss openly about how it's progressing toward the sprint goal. However the "internal" adjective looks contradictory because it seems to mean that the meeting is for the team only, so not intended for external audience.
        In my opinion transparency is important and a team should welcome anyone to attend as long as they don't disturb or use information gathered during the daily scrum for blaming or other bad practices.

      • Alan Larimer commented  · 

        "The Scrum Master may allow outside observers or participants" defeats the self-organizing intent for the Development Team; it's more traditional command-and-control management. HK disappoints.

      • Bob Hartman commented  · 

        My problem is when people higher in the company hierarchy are present, it changes the meeting significantly. People will not be as open. I'm totally opposed to the proposed change because in my real world the team will be bullied into allowing others into the meeting and it would have a significant impact on their ability to have a valuable meeting. I guess I am very aligned with MJ on this one.

      • Joseph Little commented  · 

        Hi Henrik. I like Jeff's comment (above?).

        I worry as soon as you say 'participate'. That opens the tent too much. (Although as a coach, with people under guidance, I might allow it. if it helps and does not 'disrupt'.)

        I agree that always excluding all others can be counter-productive. We should not assume that everyone is always afraid of 'the higher ups'. Or, at least, that the issue is always so important that everyone else MUST ALWAYS be excluded. There is (often enough) value in having chickens watching during the 15 mins. (And value sometimes in someone (the SM?) talking with the afterward.)

        Still, we do well to remember MJ's quote in the first comment.

        It's a balance. Jeff said it simply and quickly.

      • Michael James (MJ) commented  · 

        According to Bob Sutton: "The best leaders, even trusted ones with thick skins, are well aware of how their mere presence stifles truth-telling and criticism"

      • Michael James (MJ) commented  · 

        In organizations recovering from traditional management, the presence of these managers will distort the team's behavior. It is *inherently* disruptive. If outside stakeholders want to see what the team is doing, they should come to the Sprint Review Meetings. If no one can wait that long, consider a shorter Sprint. If they don't like the team's priorities, they should talk to the Product Owner. So I vote against this proposal.

      • Jens Ostergaard commented  · 

        What is important is that visitors don't make Development Team feel uncomfortable about opening up and thereby not synchronizing the best they can. I would support
        The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting primarily for the Development Team. If others are present the Development Team decides who can talk and the Scrum Master (can interfere if development team breaks Scrum rules) assures others do not disrupt the meeting

      • Jeff Sutherland commented  · 

        How about this? The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team. If others are present the Scrum Master assures that they do not disrupt the meeting.

      • Sri commented  · 

        I invited visitor (other developers/testers who were not part of scrum) to observe what goes on in a sprint planning session and learn how it all works.
        After the session I also sought feedback from them - what they liked/disliked etc.
        Given that the developer was attuned to traditional waterfall methods, this helped in understanding the core scrum values and mechanics behind the ritual.

      • Karol commented  · 

        I think it would be a very bad change. As it stands now, it's clear who the meeting is for and what its purpose is. If all participants communicate on the same level and make equal contribution, it is less likely to become a superficial status update/reporting meeting. If you introduce an outsider, especially a manager or someone senior, the balance can quickly shift and the original purpose of the meeting is lost. Instead of collaboration and planning, everyone turns into a robot answering the 3 questions.

      • Jason Knight commented  · 

        I am not in favor of this change as it does not add anything to the guide but rather detracts from it. IMHO, the DS is specifically formulated to allow the Development Team to inspect and adapt the Sprint Backlog frequently and self-organize to plan their daily work. To expand this event to include others outside the team removes it's distinctiveness. If coordination or communication is needed with folks outside the Development team, do it before or after the Daily Scrum. It's only 15 minutes after all and should be protected and set aside for the Development Team only.

      • Alan Larimer commented  · 

        As with most other aspects of the framework, it means exactly what it says. Only DT members participate and the SM enforces that rule. It is up to each team to consider permitting observers. Concerns of negatively impacting the effectiveness of the event, especially with less mature DTs, must be considered. All those advocating the SM or PO participating are advocating violating the rules. Give each DT those fifteen minutes to plan the coordinated effort of the day. Excuses (not reasons) for having other individuals participate are indicators of issues that need to be resolved in some other manner.

      • Marcin commented  · 

        Participation doesnt equal attendnene. I agree on current, stronger version of this rule, as it is more helpful for those, who start to implement scrum or work with yound teams where a temptation from PO to do a micro management (or willing to be managed by fresh Scrum adopters) during this meeting is high.

      • Kurt Nielsen, CST commented  · 

        I have always implemented Daily Scrum in such a way that everybody was allowed to come and listen, but the don't talk, only the Team and Scrum Master talks (possibly Product Owner, that's another story). I see this as a fundamental element of openness from the Team. Everybody can come and learn and feel comforted by following the Team's sensible work. SO Igree with clarifying the statement.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        Henrik - I'd prefer "The Scrum Team may allow" to "The ScrumMaster may allow"

      • Naveen Nanjundappa commented  · 

        I consider daily scrum as "daily inspect and adapt towards sprint goal and plan for the day"
        Scrum Guide doesn't talk anything about others not being present in the daily scrum.

        Participate words I read it as only the development team can talk, discuss and plan for their day..

        I didn't see any problem in this statement. I'm OK to make it more explicitly stated.

      • gene gendel commented  · 

        agree. for example, sr. management that those that truly support agile may want to come and observe to learn, as silent observers. excluding them does not make sense as they are main supporters.

      • Martien van Steenbergen commented  · 

        I’d say the Daily Scrum is a meeting open to anyone, yet only Development Team members *participate* (i.e. DT members are read-write and the rest is read-only).

      • Jens Abrahamsson commented  · 

        This is very good since it will explicitly facilitate direct communication between the team and stakeholders.

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