I am a product owner for a remote scrum team. I am on the east coast of the US. The scrum team is in India. This is a 10.5 hour time difference. I have been participating in their daily scrum at 6:30am EST for a few months now. This is extremely exhausting. I have suggested later in my day but half the team has poor home internet. Meeting in their morning is too late at night for me and even less practical than the 6:30am EST meeting.

Any suggestions on how to make the time difference work?

  • 4
    The daily scrum meeting isn't the most important meeting for the PO to attend. How are you dealing with the more important meetings, such as refinement, sprint review and sprint planning? How does the team handle it when a story needs further clarification? Do they ask you or do they turn to someone locally in India? Jan 1, 2019 at 9:06
  • If they have their standup at 10am, that would be a 15 minute meeting for you at 8pm where you only have to be present and answer questions. I know people who make that work. To me that sounds way better than 6:30am. But it's your life and your schedule, we can neither change the timezones, nor your life.
    – nvoigt
    Jan 1, 2019 at 11:42
  • The answers below provide a number of good things to consider. However, an important question here is: why did you (collective you) decide on this team composition?
    – Daniel
    Jan 1, 2019 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


Well, one by-the-book answer is: don't.

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team.

Your attendance is not required. And as long as you do your job in

Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

There should be no problem.

Now the real world answer is probably more complex. My first question is, do you actually do Scrum, or do you manage a team in that stand-ups? Do you speak up without being asked a question? If so, you should check whether you really do Scrum.

Apart from time-travel, there are really only three choices:

  • Find a time. We cannot do that for you. You have to do that with your team. There is no perfect solution.
  • Find a person that is local to the team that can be a substitute for you. Might be a good idea anyway, since you might be out for a few days when you take days off or have to call in sick.
  • Move to India

Nobody said working globally was easy... most companies do it because it's cheap, but they never calculate the real cost. Right now, you are shouldering that cost by yourself, hidden in your discomfort to be up super early or super late. They have outsourced labor to India and you pay parts of the cost that was "saved". If you don't like that, maybe a pay raise is in order, if you don't like it after that, maybe working with a company that employs local labor is better for your own health. The company bottom line is not your concern, your health and well-being is.

  • You're missing "go live in India while the project goes on", which isn't great either, but also a way to handle it.
    – Erik
    Jan 1, 2019 at 12:56
  • @Erik That's true :)
    – nvoigt
    Jan 1, 2019 at 13:04

We used to record the Daily Scrum and send (*) it to those who were in different time zones as well as those who missed it for whatever reason.

Your input and feedback should be sent to one person, who will be responsible for being your voice at the meetings.

Make sure to have the camcorder mounted on a tripod for best results.

To avoid the team from being distracted, the videoing was done by the Office Manager, who wasn't paying attention, anyway.

(*) Don't email videos! Upload them somewhere and email the link.

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