Drop the 3 questions from the Daily Scrum
The Daily Scrum is about the team assessing their progress towards the Sprint Goal and planning their next 24 hours.
While the 3 questions are a very common way of doing this, alternative approaches such as "walking the board" are also viable.
Specifying that the 3 questions need to be answered in the Daily Scrum reduces the Dev Team's ability to self-organise and can produce arguments that other approaches are "not scrum".
I'd like to either have the 3 questions made optional, adding an explanation that they are a common tool, but not the only choice, or drop them completely from the Scrum Guide.
Updated in November 2017 release to show that these are examples, options and the focus of the Daily Scrum is the Sprint Goal.
20 commentsComments are closed
Mike Jones (MikeJonesTechno) commented
@jeff-sutherland Please could we mark this one as completed now?
Alan Larimer commented
It's nice to see another step toward clarification in the 2017 update.
I disagree. Daily progress on "what's preventing us from achieving our goals?" is helpful in these ways:
1) it constantly builds the product backlog
2) it generates insightful conversation
3) it redirects path on a daily basis
The first 2 questions are most noticeably valuable with newer teams or newer projects, but the 3rd question is absolutely essential.
Karolina Revenus commented
+1 for dropping the 3 questions, alternativly follow Simon/Tim suggestion or change them to something like:
- Share understanding of goals
- Coordinate efforts
- Share problems and improvements
I've seen too many teams doing Daily Status Report Standup answering:
- What did I do yesterday;
- What will I do today;
- Do I have any impediments.
No-one is aware any more of the second part of each question mentioned in the Scrum Guide - the Sprint Goal. People whether don't understand what the Sprint Goal is or (bad) POs are not able to provide that (Sprint Goal = finish all user stories in sprint). Without a Sprint Goal and with the above questions, Daily becomes very fast a micro-management tool. Very good one even.
I believe questions were often shortened for simplicity reasons but it made them cause for the Scrum cargo cult - everyone has to stand for 15 minutes and report what he or she did yesterday (e.g. and it is Sunday on Monday meeting!), why things are still not done and how long it’ll take to finish them. I know teams it goes like that for years until they start... hating Scrum. Because, as they claim, they do EXACTLY what the Scrum Guide says - answering 3 questions every single day.
Ram Pradheep Manohar commented
I think team is eslf organized and they will collaborate always. So DSUM might can be optional even i feel.
I'd hate to lose the scrum aspect of the daily scrum given by the questions of: reflection on where we have been (daily review), where are we going (daily planning) and reflection on what is stopping us (daily retro)
Though rewording to make it slightly more storytelling and less "task 8 has three hours left" would be good. Too many board walks become just like that...
Tim Ottinger commented
I so agree with moving to "the team" and "we" instead of "each."
But also, group work (especially mob programming) changes the dynamic here.
Mob programming teams don't need a standup for status of what's finished, though they may (optionally) still plan the day's attack. If they don't plan in standup, they'll still plan together.
It doesn't hurt for them to discuss impediments and impediment removal, though.
Simon Mayer commented
I think this should change. Placing emphasis on individual members and specific questions can make this a formulaic status update.
Also, I notice several people talking about 'focus' in this thread.
Perhaps change to:
During the meeting, the Development Team members focus on:
* What was achieved yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal;
* What will happen today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal; and
* Whether there is any foreseeable impediment that prevents the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal.
Steve Langstaff commented
100% endorse the removal of the 3 questions. The rest of the scrum guide quite correctly stays away from prescriptive practices and it's odd that one as unhelpful as this has stayed in.
Brett Maytom commented
Although the three questions are there to guide the conversation towards re planning towards the sprint goal, it does introduce a bad behavior in teams. Novice Scrum Masters and team members start rattling the questions off as a "Status Report". They actually do not plan for the next 24 hours and maximize their focus on remaining work. The conversation they have is totally wrong.
Instead I would reword the guide to draw attention to the conversation is about how to get remaining work done. To maximize effort for the day and to get most value out of the day with the constraints the team has on the day.
As with the guide, the events are high level; however the Scrum Guide is quite prescriptive of the Daily Scrum. To me this is odd as it should be a 'guide'.
Kapil Goel commented
It limits the team to be self organized, also creates a monotonous environment for the team.
Let the 3 questions be more open ended.
Gerry Gan commented
Focusing on the objective of the scrum is key. Indicating that there are various ways to achieve the intended outcome and that one of the most common is the "3 questions." But allowing the team to find/adapt the mechanism that works for them is always beneficial and worthwhile.
Alan Larimer commented
The intent is to focus the discussion, It does not specify that they must be directly answered, but that certainly has been a hurdle in some teams. I agree with Dan Bergh Johnsson that a change to more closely mirror the descriptions of other events (inputs and outputs, purpose) might be helpful. The Development Team may benefit from SM suggestions for techniques, but DT self-organization will better flourish if the how is not prescribed.
Naveen Nanjundappa commented
I Support this, Infact most of the teams I coach, doesn't use the 3 questions format and they use visual board for "planning for the day"
3 questions are one technique and a framework shouldn't recommend the tool/technique. Especially Scrum being simple inspect and adapt framework, I would he happy to see dropping these questions from the list or state it's one technique to do daily scrum.
Martien van Steenbergen commented
May I suggest to have Scrum focus more on the work that needs to be done—to achieve the Sprint Goal—rather than the persons doing it by including questions like:
1) Which items can we finish today?
2) Which items can we get closer to the finish line today?
3) Which items that are blocked or slow movers can we speed up?
4) Who is working on items that are not on the board?
5) How can we help each other best today?
Assuming that all items contribute to achieving the Sprint Goal.
Ville Rindell commented
Daily scrums easily turns to status reporting sessions. Focus should be on goals.
Steven Spearman commented
I like the idea of optional, dropping them entirely seems like a shame since they have been helpful to many.
Dan Bergh Johnsson commented
The specific three questions are a specific meeting design to obtain the purpose of the standup in a specific context. It would make more sense to describe the Purpose and Outcome and let scrum masters device a meeting design that serves the team.
Forest Marie commented
Richard - when you "walk the board," those 3 questions are still answered.
The Guide says:
"During the meeting, the Development Team members explain:
What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?"
While I see your point, I wouldn't say that's mandating it be sequential from one Dev team member to the next.
+1. I've seen the daily scrum reduce to a sheer status update on quite a few occasions, especially when team members tend to spent too much focus & time answering the very first question, instead of evaluating how the sprint is tracking!