Myth: The Scrum Master Must Be Present During the Daily Scrum

By Barry Overeem

Myth: The Scrum Master must be present during the Daily Scrum

The myth is that a Scrum Master should always be present during the Daily Scrum. In some teams, the Scrum Master is expected to facilitate the Daily Scrum, while other teams feel that the Scrum Master should be present to pick up impediments that he or she needs to solve. Either way; presence is required.

What does the Scrum Guide say?

According to the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum is owned by the Development Team. Scrum is built on the observation that product development is a complex endeavour. This complexity manifests in a high degree of unpredictability. Even within the scope of a single Sprint, things will probably not go as expected. A critical member of the team becomes sick during the Sprint. A high-priority bug is discovered that needs to be fixed right away. Or a new idea emerges that better addresses the Sprint Goal. Frequent communication within the Development Team is paramount to deal with these changes as they arise.

The Daily Scrum is one of the boundaries of Scrum, and provides the Development Team with at least one daily opportunity to synchronize work and plan for the day ahead. How will the team work together until the next Daily Scrum to meet the Sprint Goal? The output of the Daily Scrum consists of a daily plan and (potentially) adjustments to the Sprint Backlog that are needed to reach the Sprint Goal. Although the Scrum Master can be present to help facilitate the Daily Scrum, this is not required. The Scrum Master ensures that a Daily Scrum takes place, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the meeting. Outside of the Development Team and potentially the Scrum Master, no other people participate. If the Daily Scrum results in decisions that affect others (like the Product Owner), they can be consulted by the Development Team afterward.

So, although the Scrum Master can participate during the Daily Scrum, this is certainly not required by Scrum.

Possible Problems

Having the Scrum Master present during every Daily Scrum is associated with a number of ‘smells’ that may indicate problems in how Scrum is applied:

  • The Scrum Master acts as a manager of the team, and uses the Daily Scrum to distribute work and make decisions on behalf of the Development Team;
  • The Development Team does not support or commit to working with Scrum, and needs the Scrum Master to ‘make sure it happens’. In this case, the deeper motivation to work with Scrum needs to be addressed;
  • The Development Team may be depending on the Scrum Master to facilitate communication within the Development Team. This impedes the ability of the Development Team to learn how to self-organize;
  • The Scrum Master uses the Daily Scrum to feel meaningful. Being a servant leader, the success of a Scrum Master often manifests in indirect ways (improvement over time, good atmosphere, learning). For some Scrum Masters, the Daily Scrum provides an opportunity to take the stage and have a visible contribution – even Go to the full article.

    Source:: Business 2 Community

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