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I would be interested in stuff that might get some gamification and fun into the daily scrum. I find this very tricky. How to make the daily to be different|fun|interesting and still productive, aligned with the scrum rules?

This is not about daily scrum "trainings" like "scrum-from-hell" or "agile-games/scrumheads" but for the regular dailies.

  • What is sth? Is that an abbreviation for "something"? – Mark C. Wallace Jan 16 '15 at 11:32
  • Can you give an example of what you are thinking about? – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jan 16 '15 at 12:43
  • Welcome to PMSE. As currently written, this question is too broad and invites opinion rather than canonical answers. If your question is closed, please improve it per the guidance in our Help Center. – Todd A. Jacobs Jan 16 '15 at 19:15
  • sth=something; Ok, I try to come up with a more precise question and an example. Question: Do you know a game for the daily scrum/standup? One idea (I just made up) would be to do the daily without using the words "yes|no|maybe" and if you use these words you are nexted. By this people are listening carefully. In the end we have winners of the challenge and the ones who missed out...and need to repeat their status in the end. Or using the ios App "bomb timer" and somehow... – Sam Jan 16 '15 at 19:36
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    Since there is not accepted answer - did you come up with anything interesting ? We would like to have this functionality in getbadg.es – Chris Hasiński Aug 3 '15 at 14:54
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I tried to find different ways to keep the daily scrum interesting. Here is what I found and at the same time think that it would be worth trying. Always consider, to not bring somebody in a uncomfortable situation:

Rather neutral:

  1. I have been using smart phone app-timers in the daily scrum. Passing them from one to the other. I think playing sounds when somebody takes longer could also be a fun factor. From the description/pictures of https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/daily-scrum-time-keeper-dstimek/id936244546 and https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/istandup-daily-scrum-meeting/id523992974 I see some extraordinary sounds (Smoke Detector, Fire Alarm, Groan, Ohh, ...). There are a lot more of such apps...on different devices...--------> Extending this idea: As you can see here http://yaazone.com/software/daily-scrum-time-keeper. Put the timer on a holder: operate freehand, peek on the time, respect more others talking time since you see their time

  2. "Don't always go consecutively around a circle. Get the current speaker to randomly pick the next person to talk, as long as that person isn't standing right next to them, or use a random number selection from a hat to set speaking order, etc. " [from www.scrum.org/Forums/aft/95]

  3. change the roles / speak for somebody else Ask a random team member to facilitate the scrum sometimes a week. Ask each team member to give the status of another random team member.

Can be rather challenging:

  1. "We usually use a bouncy ball as talking token. You need to bounce the ball to a person which has not yet spoken in a random order. This makes everyone to focus an who has and has not yet talked. Simple but effective and makes everyone listen." [from www.scrum.org/Forums/aft/95]

  2. "Whoever is giving their update during the daily scrum needs to hold a 3 kilogram [...] medicine ball at arm's length. This is light enough that you can hold the medicine ball while giving your updated, but it's heavy enough that you don't want to give a long update." [from www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog/weighty-matter-daily-scrum] Just a start...please add more

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    Not everyone can hold even light weights at arms' length, and not everyone can easily catch bouncy balls, or thinks that bouncy balls are fun: for example I have lousy eye-hand coordination, and would hate like hell to be forced to do something that I'm bad at during a daily scrum. It would lower my confidence, raise my social anxiety, and reduce my ability to do my job. If diversity and inclusiveness are important values at your workplace, it's important to think hard about whether all kinds of people could and would enjoy participating in things like this before introducing them. – Vicki Laidler Jan 24 '15 at 5:04
  • You are right. You mustn't bring somebody into a position one doesn't enjoy. Each activity must be judged by itself and highly depends on the members of the team. I update my answer with some grouping or prio information. In the meantime I can say that using an "extended" timer attached to a holder as you can see here yaazone.com/apps/daily-scrum-time-keeper is somehow fun and effective, also with normal sounds. – Sam Jan 26 '15 at 18:45
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Just Say "No" to Scrum Anti-Patterns

The daily stand-up is for team coordination. Gamification and intra-team competition are antithetical to the goals of the stand-up, and introducing "fluff" into a meeting that should be time-boxed to 15 minutes or less is counter-productive.

Keep the meetings short and focused, and end them early when the meeting's objectives have been met. Save the other stuff for team-building exercises or quarterly lunches, but don't clutter your Scrum with unnecessary distractions.

  • I can understand your point and worries. Also I think that the example (words "yes|no|maybe") that I have given would not be accepted that well by the participants. But just say no to gamification, fun in scrum is too easy. With the same argument you could stop gamification/fun in any business related meeting/software. – Sam Jan 18 '15 at 6:31
  • I have adapted the question and set a condition: to be aligned with scrum rules – Sam Jan 18 '15 at 11:12
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I would avoid gamification. It's the kind of thing that some folks enjoy but others find extremely annoying and alienating. Even if your current team members all enjoy it (and I would never be 100% confident that nobody is faking enjoyment to fit in to what was expected), team membership changes.

Humor and fun, on the other hand, can be a positive thing. But I don't know if it's the kind of thing that lends itself to specific techniques.

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    Ahh! This. I detest the propensity to make things "fun". When work tries to be fun, it succeeds in being neither; you get less done, and any fun elements seem forced and tedious. – seagull Jan 26 '15 at 16:47
  • See my comment "You are right. You mustn't bring somebody..." on this page. – Sam Jan 26 '15 at 18:46
  • I agree. Gamification works with colleagues when it isn't attached to a specific work task (for instance, beer night where work isn't the topic of discussion). During work, trying to incorporate a "fun" activity has always backfired. We tried it a few months ago and the results were dismal. – Ray Jan 27 '15 at 13:22
  • In my experience combining work and fun only works if it's opt-in, so I wouldn't force it onto entire team during dailies. – Chris Hasiński Aug 4 '15 at 11:54
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I regularly ask a random team member to facilitate the scrum 2 of 5 times a week.

Also once every few weeks I do a scrum where I ask each team member to give the status of another random team member during scrum so that they need to rely on our tracking tools to understand team progress.

  • I tried a few times to ask a team member to facilitate the daily scrum and I had the feeling sometimes that they were not getting the point or found it confusing or strange. A team member even declined to facilitate it when I asked her. So I went back to facilitate it myself. I think it is more important to know when to intervene rather than who is facilitating it. Asking team members to give a colleague's status update instead of their own sounds like a great idea to me. Especially, it can make team work issues transparent if somebody doesn't have any idea about what the others are doing. – Lucia Pasarin Apr 6 '18 at 8:57

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