2mins:23secs or how to teach Daily to a big team
Updated: Apr 7, 2021
The Daily Meeting could be a great challenge for some teams, especially if you have a big team with people that are new to Scrum.
To make sure they understand the reason for which we organise Daily, as well as the common dysfunctions that transform the Daily into a wasted meeting, lacking energy, interaction and purpose, I came with the idea to teach people in small steps.
Instead of having a session at the beginning, I propose 2 minutes learning sessions - lightning talks - at the beginning of the meeting, where I explain one common dysfunction that the team should learn. After 2 minutes, the Team starts the Daily while practicing the new rule.
I call this activity 2 minutes and 23 seconds - the time I need to present the lightning talk :)
Benefit: they learn one thing and they put it immediately in practice. It is not an immersive training, but a learning journey, letting them enough time to digest the information and to try it out.
It is FUN!
How to play it:
Week 1 - I introduce the topics Monday to Thursday and Friday I make a recap of the topics
Week 2 - I hand in the lightning talks to the team inviting them on a voluntary basis to explain the next 4 topics. Friday is recap day again
Week 3 - I ask the team to bring their own topics to the meeting on a voluntary basis. Friday is recap day again
Because all teams are different, you can adapt and perform 1&2, or only 1, or 1&2&3.
Additionally, I build a poster with the topics and hang it in the Team’s corner where everyone can see it.
This teaching model is great with larger teams and helps the Scrum Master to improve Daily without interrupting the Daily. If you interrupt 10 out of 15 people, your 15 minutes Daily will surely double. However, the SM can still interrupt the team members if rules are being badly broken.
Try it, it is really FUN!
Here are my topics for the lightning sessions:
What is the Goal of Daily?
Explain in 2 minutes the goal of the Daily and if possible, what should not be the goal of the Daily.
Start on Time
Punctuality is one of the ground rules. If people are late for the Daily the goal of the meeting is hindered, therefore we need to make sure that people are coming on time for the Daily. If the time does not work, team needs to agree on a better time slot to fit anyone..
No Obstacles – the forgotten question
Team members often forget to answer the third question, however when asked you usually get a similar answer: “No obstacles, but….I might have a problem with….” Encourage your colleagues to answer all questions, even if they do not have any obstacle.
No Story Telling – No Problem Solving
Explain the importance of keeping the meeting short and highlighting the problems, not solving them. Looking for a solution in a 15 minutes meeting will for sure not lead to a good result. The team can point out the issues they have and park them at the end of the meeting, involving more or less people in the discussion. You recognize this If one item is being discussed more than 60 seconds by one team members. After 60 seconds it makes sense to interrupt the discussion and advice to park it.
Too generic information
Team members are sharing much too generic information that is useless to the colleagues and brings no benefit to the team. Keep it simple, but do not mind the relevant details.
Examples: “I worked yesterday on a Bug” – what about? Anything particular to inform/share, “yesterday I worked on this user story and today I continue with it” – which part of the user story, what info could help the colleagues to support me at which part am I with the user story, “I attended yesterday a workshop”- what workshop, was the info relevant for the team also?
Don’t look at me!
Team members are used to stare to the SM, as if they would be reporting to him. Explain that the Daily is FROM the team FOR the team; it is a good opportunity to point out the role of the SM as a servant leader and the importance of leaders, not followers in the Team. If anyone else is staring at PO or a Developer Lead, this is a sign that there is a Head in the Team, which is not an agile set up.
Clarify the importance of keeping the meeting short, energetic and in this way efficient for anyone who is very busy.
Why daily Daily?
Explain the need of getting people talk to each other on a daily basis to enhance collaboration and ensure proactive alignment to overcome any difficulties in development. After some time, mature teams do not need a Daily, however they get into contact many times a day, having the Daily as a learned habit
You are late
Starting the Daily with an incomplete Team makes no sense, as the Team members do no get the benefit of the meeting. If people are late they miss important updates which will lead to communication problems.
You talk, I listen (highlight talk:listen ratio)
In an 8 people Team, the talking:listening ratio is 1:7, otherwise said you listen 13 minutes and talk only 2 minutes. We might need bigger ears or at least more effort to concentrate to what our colleagues are saying. Therefore you should pay attention not only to what they are saying, but also to what you are saying.
‘Someone’ help me – give ‘Someone’ a name
Some team members ask for help in the meeting and refer to “Someone” to support them. In new teams it is sometimes harder to have volunteers to support others, therefore if possible, you should already name your helper.
Sprint Goal Barometer – can we make it? (middle of the Sprint)
Introduce this when you are in the middle of the Sprint and plan a longer Daily to check how far/close the Team is to reach its Sprint Goal
You are so pretty! (for remote members not sharing web-cam)
For remote teams is the web-cam a must, unless previously discussed in the Team. If some of the team members “forget” to share the camera, this is a friendly way to remind them about it. Explain the importance of sharing the camera and the benefits that come along.
Anyone sharing the Board? (for remote members)
For distributed teams it is important to have a virtual sprint board that shows progress on a daily basis to help the team members for planning or support. There are many benefits around showing the board
If not joining, please work out loud!
To work out loud means to communicate important information through the agreed communication channels, whenever something relevant changes/happens and would be important for the team to know. In this regard, whoever is not able to join the meeting should communicate in advance his/her updates to the team.
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