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This hypothetical question is directly-inspired by this Question.

During a Sprint Retrospective, the Development team proposes moving the Daily scrum to occur twice per day -- once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Not daily. Which two are the most appropriate responses for the Scrum Master? (Select two best answers)

  • Coach the team on why the Daily Scrum is important as an opportunity to update the plan
  • Learn why the Development Team wants this and work with them to improve the outcome of the daily Scrum
  • Consider the request and decide on when the Daily Scrum should occur.
  • Have the developers vote
  • Acknowledge and support self-organizing team’s decision

From a Scrum viewpoint, is this original question and this updated version essentially the same question and therefore have the same answer?

My own thinking on the topic keeps vacillating so I'm hoping someone more experienced with the process can provide some guidance.

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TL;DR

Helping the team identify the root cause of an issue (to avoid X/Y solutions), and then allowing them to brainstorm measurable solutions that work within the team's unique context is an essential Scrum Master facilitation role. Validated learning and continuous process improvement led by the team should be the real goals here.

Analysis

For your framework implementation to be Scrum, you must hold a Daily Scrum. If you don't hold all the required events, then the result is not Scrum.

On the other hand, the Scrum framework doesn't prevent teams from holding additional events or implementing their own processes within the framework. So, if a team finds that it needs more than one full-team collaboration meeting a day, there's nothing that would prevent them from doing that.

On the third (!) hand, adding additional process overhead may or may not add value, and may or may not solve whatever underlying issue has prompted the team to try this approach. In the abstract, it's difficult to say whether this would be useful or not, but it's certainly within the team's control to self-organize and manage their own internal processes if they want to try. I'd simply suggest that they take a test-first approach to define how they will measure the success or failure of the process.

The Test Perspective

It's almost impossible to guess what the test designers think is the right answer, or how they've chosen to norm it. So, there can't be a canonical answer to a "what's the correct test answer" type of question.

With that said, the only two options presented that are congruent with allowing the team to self-organize and collaborate without a command-and-control approach using authority the Scrum Master doesn't have are:

  • Learn why the Development Team wants this and work with them to improve the outcome of the daily Scrum
  • Acknowledge and support self-organizing team’s decision

Whether or not the answers are what the test designers are looking for, they are the two best answers in the list. They still fall short, though, because they lack the full context and the right flavor. Repacking this as "What's the best way to support and facilitate the team?" is a better approach that will encourage the Scrum Master to coach the team on root cause analysis and help them explore actionable and testable approaches to validated learning and continuous improvement.

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The original question was about an exam and my answer (the accepted one) was geared toward how to consider the answers. You could consider the same things. However, tlyou are going to answer those differently. For example, the purpose of the daily scrum is undermined by less frequent meetings, while it is not undermined but may or may not amplify that purpose. So I don't think the answer is the same but you can ask some of the same questions.

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Thanks for the discussion, everyone! Here are my answery-thoughts on this:

The only thing about this scenario that violates Scrum in any way is the name of the second meeting. So just rename it already and carry on.

There's nothing in Scrum that says you can't have meetings or that prescribes what may or may not be in those meetings. Calling the afternoon meeting The After-Lunch Hullabaloo solves everything.

Strictly in terms of which 2-of-5 answers are best from the multiple-choice list, I'd probably go with "Acknowledge and support self-organizing team’s decision" and "Consider the request and decide on when the Daily Scrum should occur" -- the latter being the decision as to which meeting should get to be called the Daily Scrum, if for some reason the team can't or won't come to their own decision on it.

Thanks again to everyone who took a look at this.

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