Our scrum events rarely start on time because members show up late. There are no reasons given for the tardiness. This wastes the time of the other members who are on time! We have discussed this in the retrospective and the scrum master has urged people to be on time but they still show up 2 to 5 minutes late. Besides reporting them to their managers, what is an effective way to deal with this?
You don't describe your role on the Scrum Team, but the solutions require the active collaboration of all members of the team. In particular, the Scrum Master role is the process referee, and not simply a bystander separate from the rest of the Scrum Team. This is often obscured by a misunderstanding of the "servant leader" paradigm. As a coach and referee, the Scrum Master most likely needs to both explain and enforce the framework's requirements for the daily standup, rather than just taking a passive approach.
Respect Time Box and Cadence; Create Necessary Slack
The daily standup is part of the cadence of the Sprint. As such, it should be:
- Held at a predictable time.
- Strictly time-boxed.
- Meeting the needs of the Development Team.
- Facilitating collaboration rather than status reporting.
If people are routinely showing up late, at least one of the principles above is likely being violated. To address this, the Scrum Team should:
- Review the start time of the standup to ensure it's consistent and agreeable to the whole team. About an hour after the starting time of core hours is often a good place to start.
- Ensure the standup starts on time and ends on time, every time! Individuals being late shouldn't be allowed to disrupt the time box. Enforcing the time box is a key responsibility for an effective Scrum Master in their capacity as a process referee.
- Address root causes and impediments. If people are late because meetings are too closely packed on the day's calendar, or insufficient padding around the event is provided by the organization, fix that!
- Ensure the daily standup is used only for collaborating on the daily increment. Push status reporting and other topics outside of the meeting's time box. If the team members find value in the event, they'll make time for it and want to be there for the whole thing.
You may want to consider getting the team together and coming up with a working agreement.
This will need to be decided on by consensus of the whole team. The idea being that when people actively participate in drawing up a working agreement they are far more likely to follow it.
It is a lot easier to call people out for things like being late to meetings if they have themselves stated it is a bad thing.
I suggest to apply fine, for every minute late, there will be a constant value for the fine example $5, but first you have to agree on this rule as a team, because scrum and agile project management depends on self organize team, and suppose to be funny, as the team knows the important of time-boxed events and the harm of being late, it will be easy to agree about the fine and also will have a sense of humor, no one like to pay a fine. this way succeed in my team, hope it succeed in your team as well.
The appropriate solution to this depends on so many dynamics within your Scrum team and organization in general, that’s it’s really not possible to answer appropriately without knowing a lot more. But it would be too complex to discuss here. With that said, you might try...
Address tardiness directly at the time it occurs, have the SM or another appropriate leader within the team ask them directly why they are late, at the moment they arrive late and in front of the rest of the team. This will encourage them to be held accountable to the rest of the team for their tardiness, which may encourage them to stop it.
Have the SM visit them at the time they should be making their way to the meeting and make sure they are on the way, accompany them to the meeting or have the opportunity to privately address what’s going on and see directly why they are late!
Have the SM meet with them privately and discuss the issue.
Organize some social or other team building exercises to bring the team together so members don’t feel comfortable letting each other down.
It really depends on what the underlying issue is, issues like this are usually a sign of an unaddressed disharmony in the team, that is best identified and fixed if possible. Depending on that is what type of approach will work best, and which will simply create more disharmony.
It looks like team is not buying in either to the job at hand or to the scrum as a process.
Below could be few possibilities: -
- Try to find the reason for team not to buy in
- Talk to them to know if they are facing some impediments
- Team is not motivated for the project or mission
- There could be some politics going on within team, department or organization that is impacting team
- Team needs some help but they have no hope from management
Ask the people who are always late how they would like the stand up meetings to be in terms of schedule and start from there.
People think differently regardless of processes (they are humans in essence, right?!). It’s important to understand other people’s point of view and be prepared to be flexible.
In my personal experience, If the team is mature enough, an email can be as effective as a stand up meeting and maybe those that are always late could send an email instead?!