Category Archives: Basic Scrum

Don’t be a Scrum Zombie

ZombieInspired by the slide “Don’t be Scrum Zombie” from Henrik Kniberg’s Keynote at Scrum Gathering in Cape Town I want to talk a bit about the Daily Scrum. Because IMHO the Daily Scrum is the most underestimated Scrum meeting.

Every Scrum team knows the most famous 3 questions asked at the Daily Scrum:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Is anything in your way?

For some teams this meeting is just an annoying duty and because of that the questions are answered passionless. One thing that I observed in the last weeks and month is how the questions are weighted. The first question about the last working day is answered in every detail while the second question is answered quite short and if the third question is answered at all this is only done by stating that there are currently no problems. So the biggest part of the meeting is about talking of the past. The future and the impediments are just ignored. IMHO this is a big problem and should be avoided.

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The managing ScrumMaster

The managing ScrumMasterA common problem in Scrum implementations occur when the former project manager becomes the ScrumMaster in your Scrum project. I call this the phenomenon “The managing ScrumMaster”. But why is it such a problem?

From push to pull

One of the biggest changes when introducing agile methods like Scrum is the procedure of how the different tasks are assigned. In most non agile projects it is the project manager or even worse other stakeholders who assigns the tasks to the team members. This is the so called “push” principle. In agile projects this is completely different. Here the team members decide on which task of the sprint backlog to work next. This is called the “pull” principle. And that’s were the problem with former project managers start. The team is used to ask his project manager what to do next so they will ask their new ScrumMaster and he will eagerly answer and assign a new task to them. This makes it extremely difficult to switch from push to pull. But if the team is not able to switch to pull they won’t benefit from the main advantage of agile methods: the self organization of the team itself.

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