The 4th question of the Daily
The Daily brings three questions to the Scrum Team:
1. What have I done/achieved yesterday?
2. What do I plan for today?
3. Do I have any obstacles?
For various reasons, while team members inspect and adapt their way of working, they decide to extend the 3 questions to a 4th one.
Here are some examples of possible questions that qualify for the 4th question of the Daily:
1. How do you feel?
This is a great question to ask, especially to a new formed team, or a team that needs to improve on its collaboration. This question has the goal to bring people closer together and connect them to a personal level.
Sharing honest feelings helps the team members be more open to each other, increase the safety in the team and the collective emotional intelligence.
Answering this 4th question can increase the level of energy and interaction during the Daily and help the Team move from a Funeral Daily to an Exotic Daily.
Once you notice this 4th question brings monotone answers to simply check-in, this question should be excluded, or replaced with another question.
When introducing this 4th question, the Scrum Master should explain first the goal of the question and the team should agree to try it out.
2. What about the Sprint Goal - How far/close are we from achieving our Sprint Goal?
This is a great question when the Team is having difficulties achieving its Sprint Goal. It also creates awareness in the Team on the importance of the Sprint Goal and brings it into discussion on a daily basis. Within some Sprints, the Team will learn to re-adjust to make sure they deliver a successful Sprint, or at least they can try.
You can also try out this question at the middle of the Sprint, as well as in the last days of the Sprint, if not asked on a daily basis.
3. Anything to Test?
This question makes sense when there is no tester in the Team and everybody supports or when the Team went through some bottlenecks on Testing and they want to signal this situation in advance. If answering to this question becomes monotone, you need to remove it.
4. When are you available today? (from Jonathan Ray)
This question is important for Team members that share lots of tasks together. In this way, they know when to approach each other, as well as the Product Owner who is usually drowned in meetings. Some even share how to be contacted, when it comes to communication channels, if there is anything special. This question is especially relevant for team members that work in distributed teams and do not see each other, when one is available at his/her desk.
If you decide to try out with your team one of these 4th questions you need to keep it within a time frame and actively listen to the Daily to observe if it brings benefits to the team or not. Otherwise, these questions are great ways to break the Daily monotony and try out something new.