Reblogged with permission from Jem D'jelal, the original author of this content, as a contributor to blogagility.com. Originally published on LinkedIn March 21, 2017.
We are gathered here today, to pay tribute to the life of the Daily Scrum.
And to express our admiration & gratitude for what this wonderful ceremony once brought us in life.
It’s only natural that we should be sad today, because in a practical sense, the Daily Scrum is no longer a part of our lives & what truly hurts us most is that we facilitated this death.
Same time, same place for the morning funeral.
3 Developers, 1 QA carry the lifeless, portable corpse to the meeting room.
The funeral service begins.
A Priest of a Scrumarian dialect starts, he or she will pick an illusion to keep the dream of an after life alive.
Depending on the favoured illusion – the portable corpse or electronic board is littered with dead cards that contain incredible amounts of information.
But that is ok, because as long as we have things on cards, we are ok.
“No, No! Not card 346890 “
Dave realises Bob hadn’t updated the board & it spent the entire day in Blocked”.
If only the board was on a wall somewhere & not hidden away in a coffin, maybe, just maybe we could use it in real time.
Bob is eating a chocolate croissant.
Bob is more concerned with the lack of chocolate in his Pret croissant.
“That’s alright, we can do something about it now – inspect and adapt, init?”.
The Daily Scrum died when it was booked into a meeting room
Those who have seen the daily Scrum done in the open space alive & vibrant …choke back the tears.
Something which brings soo much interaction, collaboration, energy…now just a bundle of bones covered in the fake skin of pretty cards & swanky tools.
More family members dial into Skype to pay their respects.
The line is terrible.
But this is good.
Hearing the eulogy over & over again is painful for us all.
Best it finishes fast.
Let this tormented & troubled soul lay to rest.
Ahhh the bright lights of the afterlife.
It glows beautifully.
Courtesy of the 60 inch, 15 Grand, touch screen – displaying lifeless, meaningless cards that were in the same place which that they were yesterday at 9:30 am.
The energy of the funeral service is what you expect it to be, tired, removed, painful.
The Coroners report
Death of the daily Scrum isn’t because your board is physical or electronic.
It isn’t because you don’t have the latest plug-in from Trello.
It isn’t because you don’t have a cool enough set up with big beautiful screens.
It’s much more likely to die through the following.
#1 Book your daily Scrum into a meeting room.
Energy will shift when you take what is meant to be visible & open into a meeting room every single morning. You may use the excuse of “we have people who are remote” or “we don’t want to disturb people in the open space” – but there are ways of fine tuning the daily Scrum to share information & introduce energy into the open space.
#2 Are completely cool with loads of card moving at the daily Scrum.
A daily Scrum which begins with a myriad of cards moving is usually a bad smell. If the idea of the board is to enable the motto of “inspect & adapt” – the idea is that the board is alive. We should remind ourselves of this.
#3 The Daily Scrum turns into a mothers meeting
It’s a really clear sign of people not talking enough in the day. This translates to people waiting for the daily Scrum to be the place where they interact. Call it out & ask people who sit opposite each other to wave rather than using Slack 🙂
#4 Number 1 again.
I can’t emphasise the difference in energy that I have seen with teams who do their daily in a coffin vs those who do it from where they work. I’ve worked with well over 30 Scrum & agile teams – and can’t deny that there’s likely a pattern to consider.
Beating the same drum
The idea of a tool is to serve us as humans, to help us create greater connection & interaction to our work & one another.
If the tool is used to create distance or has no meaning then it may be worth doing away with the tool.
The Daily Scrum is just one way to help teams inspect & adapt.
Help give it a chance through using it in a more open & interactive manner.