The daily Scrum (AKA standup) is not a status meeting.  It’s purpose is to provide a forum for team members to co-ordinate their work and raise any obstacles preventing them from getting that work done.  I’ve noticed a pattern from numerous teams I’ve worked with and am wondering if you’ve noticed the same.

The “stand-up” ends up being a ritual where the drones…er team members, answer the 3 questions because, well, that’s what Scrum says you’re supposed to do.  What did you finish yesterday, what will you finish today and what’s blocking you.   Pretty simple stuff.  I worked with one team that had terrible ‘standups’ until they started sitting down.  One team member (who was kicked off the team) made it a point to bring Ken Schwaber’s book to prove to me that you don’t have to stand at the standup.  I asked him if he could remember a time when I said they had to stand-up.  He grumbled and stormed away.

I’ve noticed a pattern of teams going through the ritual only to do a real standup after they finish the ritual.    The ‘standup’ itself is a status meeting with the 3 questions and I’ve noticed the teams that exhibit this pattern finish that pretty quickly.  Then they move on to the real standup, focus on the work on the task-board and co-ordinate their work for the day.  I’m sure some purists would call this some type of critical dysfunction, but what’s the harm?  From my observations, the ritual lasts 5 or 10 minutes and the ‘real’ standup about the same.  Oops, that puts us over the 15 minute time limit.  I guess all is lost then.

How about you?  Does your team function like these other teams I’ve observed?