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.
The Scrum Guide addresses this clearly: “only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum.”
33 commentsComments are closed
No matter how we word this, someone is unhappy.
Anton Skornyakov commented
This has been resolved.
Andy Brandt commented
This has long been resolved. Why it is still here?
Ken Schwaber commented
Read closely: "...only the Development Team members PARTICIPATE in the Daily Scrum." It can be held in Ebbets field, but only the team members participate.
Hmmm - I see where you're going with this Henrik. Perhaps what we need is a different name for the "development team"? We know that this isn't made up explicitly of software developers, but a lot of orgs do not?
It says, may not participate... as in speak and question. It does not say, may not listen. Huge difference.
Paula Elisa Kvedaras commented
I do not agree with this change. Th daily meeting is for team. The daily is not a show for others to watch.
PSM Guy commented
Sadly, this has been completed and will further maintain and promote the use of Scrum as a simple re-branding of traditional project management where the grunts must have oversight and not self-organization.
Nicolas DULMAN commented
In my own opinion, as daily scrum intend is the synchronization of the dev team, any other people would lose their time if they attend it (even as visitors). Moreover, even without actively participating, the presence of people external to the team is enough to change behaviours of the people of the team.
As we cannot ensure the sole presence of the visitors has no impact on the meeting, and that what is said during the daily scrum will not be used in an unproper way, I would suggest to avoid as much as possible external people to attend this meeting. The transparency is given through the updates of the user stories, sprint backlogs ...
Hence I would rather keep the word "internal" in the sentence "The daily scrim is an internal meeting of the development team"
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.
Mike Jones (MikeJonesTechno) commented
@jeff-sutherland Please could we mark this one as completed in the Scrum Guide November 2017 update?
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.
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.
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.