5

Should a Product Owner and Scrum Master communicate what they have done yesterday, are doing today and their impediments in the standup like the developers?

My view is that the standup should be observation only for the P.O and the S.M. can raise observations at the end, otherwise they are just there to facilitate as they are not directly working towards the sprint goal.

Any thoughts?

6

The daily scrum's purpose is to coordinate the team. If the PO or SM had tasks that were required for the team to coordinate then yes, they definitely need to speak up so the team can do so. For example maybe the PO or SM removed an impediment. That is important to know.

If not, then their input is not required and they should assume their regular roles, the SM as a facilitator and the PO as a (preferably silent) observer.

3

As it's defined in the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum is an event for the Development Team. Neither the Product Owner nor the Scrum Master are required attendees, but guidance is given that the team may ask the Scrum Master to facilitate the event and that if the Scrum Master is present, they are responsible for ensuring that any other attendees aren't disrupting the Development Team's ability to inspect their work and adapt their plans.

However, even though the Scrum Guide doesn't require it, I've found it helpful for the Product Owner to attend the Daily Scrum and tend to recommend it. If there are any impactful changes to the Sprint that the Product Owner would like to raise for the team to consider, the Daily Scrum is a good place to raise the question or concern, but there probably won't be time to answer it within the 15 minute timebox. It's also a good opportunity for the Product Owner and Scrum Master to inform the team of their availability over the next day or two so the Development Team can schedule any necessary time with them.

I would also not recommend constraining anyone - including the Development Team - to the idea of "what you did yesterday, what you are doing today, and impediments". Although the Three Questions format is common (and provided as an example in the Scrum Guide), it's not always appropriate. Instead, focus on the purpose of the Daily Scrum - align on how best to achieve the goals by the end of the Sprint timebox.

  • Aren't the avoidance of "impactful changes to the sprint" one of the reasons for using sprints in the first place? My take: having a product owner who wants to make impactful changes and cannot wait for the next sprint like s/he should would be a reason to lose faith in that particular scrum implementation. – Joseph Cheek Feb 14 at 19:55
  • @JosephCheek In a case of single-team Scrum, if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete, the Sprint can be terminated. However, terminating a Sprint out of cycle isn't always possible in a scaled Scrum environment. – Thomas Owens Feb 14 at 20:03
2

Mike Cohn has some interesting thoughts on this:

"I’ve previously written that Scrum Masters should participate in daily scrums and give an update. If they don’t, team members can be left to feel that their work is under greater scrutiny than the work of the Scrum Master. This can lead to an us/them feeling among team members."

"So should a product owner participate in daily scrums? Yes, absolutely. That’s the same answer I gave for Scrum Masters, and it’s for the same reasons. You want to foster a feeling of being a single, whole team united in pursuit of some goal. You don’t achieve that when you lock certain roles out of team meetings."

Although I think this is an interesting take on things, I would still say that the final decision on attendance should rest with the development team.

  • I am at such a loss of what to do now as I think both your answer and @nvoitg's have clout. – user32613 Feb 17 at 20:20
  • 1
    When you aren't confident of having the answer, then experiment! Why not try inviting them to attend and speak for a few sprints and then review how it goes at the end? Let them know up front that this is an experiment. – Barnaby Golden Feb 17 at 21:05

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