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I am a ScrumMaster for Scrum team.

The team didn't show up for the standup this morning. I went and spoke to the team and they said they don't want to have stand-ups because the product owner (PO) is on leave.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this?

  • 1) Usually how long are your daily standup meetings? 2) Are these mainly 'status update' meetings or 'team coordination checkpoints'? – Aziz Shaikh Sep 7 '15 at 14:46
  • The team usually sticks to 15 minutes and I would say its more coordination then status updates – TheLearner Sep 7 '15 at 14:48
  • 2
    While you don't necessarily need a standup every morning, the PO being away or not has nothing to do with whether you have a standup - they normally wouldn't be there anyway. – Grimm The Opiner Sep 8 '15 at 8:32
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  1. The main problem is that your "Daily Scrum" degraded to "Daily Status Reporting Meeting".

  2. I believe, that reason of this problem is that your team doesn't understand purpose and goals of Daily Scrum.

  3. And, of course, if we will dig deeply, main reason will be that you (as Scrum Master) didn't explaine well purpose and goals of Daily Scrum to your team.

There are a little bit different opinions about goals of Daily Scrum.

For example, in this answer I suggested (based on Mike Cohn's article and own practice) following:

  • Help to track Sprint Progress.
  • Synchronize team's work.
  • Adapt daily plan and Sprint Backlog.
  • Increace colabration within team (by commitment to each other and sharing problems).

Author [Jason Yip] of this article suggest similar, but a little bit different goals:

  • To help start the day well
  • To support improvement
  • To reinforce focus on the right things
  • To reinforce the sense of team
  • To communicate what is going on

As a mnemonic device, think of GIFTS:

Good Start, Improvement, Focus, Team, Status

Finaly, quote from The Scrum Guide (there is no list of goals, but I highlighted them):

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours.

...

The Development Team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog. The Daily Scrum optimizes the probability that the Development Team will meet the Sprint Goal. Every day, the Development Team should understand how it intends to work together as a selforganizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment by the end of the Sprint. The Development Team or team members often meet immediately after the Daily Scrum for detailed discussions, or to adapt, or replan, the rest of the Sprint’s work.

...

Daily Scrums improve communications, eliminate other meetings, identify impediments to development for removal, highlight and promote quick decision-making, and improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge. This is a key inspect and adapt meeting.

In any case, there are no any goals of Daily Scrum, that are directly related with Product Owner.

Daily Scrum is event for Developer Team, it serve to reach Developers Team's goals and only attendance of Developer Team is required on this meeting.

Try to explain it to your team.

21

They seem to treat the daily standup as a reporting meeting for your PO. This is not what the daily standup is supposed to be.

As a scrum master it's your job to clarify that the daily standup is for the team and the PO is a tolerated visitor at the meeting. His absence changes nothing.

It's also your job to make sure that it actually is that way. It's easy to let the daily standup drift into a short PO report meeting. If that happend, it's your job to turn the tide and bring the meetings back on track.

  • Agree with the above; I would also recommend reiterating with the team what the supposed benefits of the standup are, and see if they feel those benefits are are actually useful to them, and happening. In some cases, teams that have been together for a while will forego standups because they simply communicate organically throughout the day and do not find the explicit ceremony useful. – Jeff Lindsey Sep 8 '15 at 18:16
4

You should talk to your team and clarify that the stand-ups are not for reporting to the PO. Its main purpose is to work as a team and keep everyone updated of all the proceedings that happened the day before. It is a way to bring out to notice impediments faced by any member of the team. It is important to emphasis on the fact that Daily Stand-up is a commitment and communications meeting and NOT a status report meeting.

If you are able to communicate the importance of Stand-ups to the team well, they will surely not miss it.

Also, do take special care of the duration of your stand-ups. Nobody is particularly very fond of long meetings. A Stand-up meeting should last maximum for 10 minutes. If any blocker requires further discussion, the relevant parties should do so after the stand-up meeting. Other should be allowed to leave.

You, as a Scrum Master, have a very important role in explaining everyone the concepts of Agile and Scrum.

3

In our team we have daily standups always without PO. Is place for developers coordination, not for reporting.

I read quite nice article about standups mistakes: 7 Mistakes During the Daily Stand-up Meeting

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