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Warning! The Scrum Patterns Prime Directive:

Patterns are not a concrete methodology, and using only documented patterns is a sure fire way to destroy creativity and innovation. These patterns are not an official part of Scrum in any way -- they're just ideas. So… use the patterns with care, and don’t forget to be creative. Mix and match, combine, tweak, create a new pattern, or don’t ever hesitate to use your own technique that doesn’t resemble an already existing pattern.

This chart, a printable PDF, and the accompanying presentation can be found at: http://www.ScrumCrazy.com/DSPatterns


DailyScrumPatternsGraphic_v4.png


Pattern or Pattern Category

Possibly Good For:

Possibly Bad For:








Talk Order Patterns





<Round Robin>
  • One person starts, talk order proceeds in some spatial pattern (clockwise, counter-clockwise, left to right, etc)
  • Teams often stand in a circle or semi-circle
  • New Scrum teams
  • Experienced Scrum teams
  • Works well broadly
  • Bored Teams. Change it up! (Not necessarily a permanent change -- could be temporary)


<Talking Stick>
  • The person speaking in a Daily Scrum holds a “talking stick” or token of some sort.
  • Helps Focus Team
  • Smooth Speaker Transitions
  • Bored Teams. Change it up!
  • Teams that have trouble focusing
  • Possible Strategy: For Distributed Teams: “Toss the microphone”
    • Forces people to pay attention
  • Possible Strategy: For Co-located Teams: “Random Order, Toss the Token”
  • Bored Teams. Change it up! (Not necessarily a permanent change -- could be temporary)
  • Teams annoyed by the "kitchiness."


Controversial Pattern: <Walk the Items>
  • Rather than going person by person, the meeting is facilitated to go PBI by PBI
  • Someone indicates which PBI is being discussed
    • Each person that worked on it yesterday or plans to work on it today talks about Yesterday/ Today/ Obstacles for only the currently discussed PBI.
  • Non closing teams
  • Highly co-located and Highly communicative teams


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"







Obstacle Resolution Patterns





<Defer Obstacle Resolution>
  • Don’t attempt to solve obstacles and impediments in the Daily Scrum.
  • Possible Strategy: Hand sign or other signal to indicate someone’s preference for deferring a particular obstacle’s resolution
  • Teams that have trouble keeping the DS time-box
  • Teams that prefer short Daily Scrums
  • Teams that are smaller, or can quickly discuss their obstacles and impediments within the 15 minute time-box.


<Allow Obstacle Resolution>
  • Allow some obstacle resolution in Daily Scrum
  • Can include discussion
  • Must be able to consistently conform to the 15 minute time-box
  • Teams that are smaller, or can quickly discuss their obstacles and impediments within the 15 minute time-box.
  • Teams that are time-box busters
  • Teams that want short Daily Scrums


Anti-Pattern: <Save All Obstacles For The Daily Scrum>
  • Team defers discussing and resolving nearly all obstacles until the Daily Scrum
  • Common anti-pattern with new Scrum teams
  • Increases obstacle delays
    • Instead, report and/or resolve all possible obstacles as soon as they are identified.
  • Obstacles that appear shortly before the Daily Scrum.
  • Just about any situation that does not meet the “Possibly Good For” context. Attempt to report/resolve all possible obstacles as soon as they are identified.


<The After Party>
  • The Dev Team meets just after the Daily Scrum to handle things that are inappropriate for the Daily Scrum.
    • Non Dev Team members can also attend
  • Can be a sit down.
  • Beware the <Save All Obstacles For The Daily Scrum>anti-pattern.
    • The After Party – Part 2
  • Possible Strategy: Largest audience to smallest.
  • Possible Strategy: Vote with your feet.
  • Discussions with those not on the Development team
  • Obstacle resolution if you’re following the <Defer Obstacle Resolution> pattern.
  • Discussions where only a small subset is needed


Anti-Pattern: <After Party Defeats the Daily Scrum>
  • No known context where this pattern is good for a Scrum implementation.
  • Pretty much all teams


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"







Facilitation Patterns





Standup Meeting
  • Participants stand up
  • Popular, Proven Practice
  • Teams that are time-box busters
  • Good, quick communication
  • Distributed teams that attend the DS via audio or video conferencing at their desks or at home.


Sit Down Meeting
  • Participants in the Daily Scrum sit down for the meeting
  • There is no Scrum Guide requirement that the Daily Scrum be a standup meeting
  • Should be used with caution
  • Distributed teams that attend the DS via audio or video conferencing at their desks or at home.
  • Teams that are Time-Box Busters
  • Low Energy Situations – Stand Up!


Close Facilitator
  • A facilitator (often the Scrum Master) facilitates the meeting very closely
    • Might give hints to team members to mention something
    • Might coach members closely on what to do, say, or that they need to let the next person talk
    • Might simply just ask insightful questions to the team or its members to “expose the system to itself”
  • Subtle difference between <Close Facilitator> and <Controlling Facilitator> anti-pattern
  • New Scrum Teams
  • Distributed Scrum Teams to keep it moving
    • See <Talking Stick> pattern (“Toss the Microphone Strategy”) as an alternative.
  • Most Scrum Teams, so long as they have good Daily Scrums, and no longer need the close facilitation and teaching.


Anti-Pattern: <Controlling Facilitator>
  • A facilitator controls the meeting very tightly
    • Might call out the name of each person before they talk
    • Might quiz the person several levels deep to go further on “what is holding them up”
  • Controlling Facilitator can be a Scrum Team member ORa Non Scrum Team member.
  • No contexts are currently documented for when this anti-pattern might be possibly good for a Scrum implementation.


Anti-Pattern: <Turns into a Waterfall Status Meeting>
  • Focus on time (% complete, actual hours, etc) instead of inspecting and adapting the plan.
  • PO or Non Scrum Team member facilitates
  • A <Controlling Facilitator>is present,
    • Polling each person for their status, and/or
    • Interrogating people about obstacles or things that take longer than expected
    • Constantly reminding team members about deadlines
  • People dread going to the meeting
  • People appear to be “reporting” to a particular person, rather than fellow Dev Team members
  • No contexts are currently documented for when this anti-pattern might be possibly good for a Scrum implementation.


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"







Who Participates? Patterns

  • Note the difference between “attend” and “participate.”
Attend ~= Observe
Participate ~= Talk



Controversial Pattern: <Product Owner Participates>
  • Product Owner Participates in the Daily Scrum
  • Scrum Guide(Scrum.org) says No.
  • Agile Atlas(Scrum Alliance) says Maybe.
  • Teams that have a good working relationship with their PO


Anti-Pattern: <Non Scrum Team Member Participates>
  • A person who is not on the Scrum Team participates by speaking or doing the “yesterday/ today/ obstacles”
  • This is a direct violation of the Scrum Guide which says that only the Dev Team participates.
  • No contexts are currently documented for when this anti-pattern might be possibly good for a Scrum implementation.
  • Any Scrum Team. This violates a very specific Scrum rule, and harms self-organization, transparency, and the purpose of the Daily Scrum itself.


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"







Who Attends? Patterns

  • Note the difference between “attend” and “participate.”
Attend ~= Observe
Participate ~= Talk



Only Dev Team Attends
  • Only the Dev Team attends the Daily Scrum
    • Caveat: The Dev Team should make sure that they are still serving/communicating with the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and wider organization well, through any other needed communication mechanisms besides the Daily Scrum.
  • Experienced Scrum Teams
  • New Scrum Teams
  • Need Scrum Master as Shield
  • Teams where a Scrum Master’s extended absence has allowed slow degradation of the quality of the Daily Scrum


Scrum Master Attends
  • The Scrum Master Attends the Daily Scrum
  • New Scrum Teams
  • Need Scrum Master as shield
  • Teams That Need a Refresher on Effective Daily Scrums
  • Scrum Master who exhibits <Authorify Figure Attends> anti-pattern
  • Teams that grow dependent on the Scrum Master to have a good Daily Scrum


Product Owner Attends
  • The Product Owner Attends the Daily Scrum
  • Dev Teams who often need to speak to the Product Owner at <The After Party>
  • Product Owners who are “team players”


Anti-Pattern: Authority Figure Attends
  • Someone of authority attends
    • Team Lead
    • Manager
    • Executive
    • Powerful Stakeholder
    • Authoritative Product Owner
  • Rare visits so the authority figure learns about Scrum.
  • Teams who have an authority figure on the Scrum Team.
    • SM should coach that member to not act as their authority role in the Daily Scrum
  • Pretty much any situation not described in the “Possibly Good For” section
  • Authority figures who don’t realize the effect they have on the team – somewhat akin to the “lab coat effect”


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"







Sprint Backlog at The Daily Scrum Patterns





<View Sprint Backlog at Daily Scrum>
  • The Sprint Backlog is viewed or displayed at the Daily Scrum.
  • Popular, proven practice.
  • Examples:
    • Physical Scrum board(Most popular by far)
    • Photograph of the Physical Scrum board
    • Webcam pointed at the Physical Scrum board
    • ALM tool screen
  • No contexts are currently documented for when this pattern might be possibly bad for a Scrum implementation.


Controversial Pattern: Update Sprint Backlog During Daily Scrum
  • The Scrum team updates the Sprint Backlog and/or Burndown during the Daily Scrum
  • Very advanced/experienced Scrum Teams who will not let the updating get in the way of the purpose of the Daily Scrum.
  • New Scrum Teams
  • Teams where the “updating” will distract and take time away
  • Teams where the updater is influenced by attendees.
  • Transparency – Sprint Backlog could be 24hrs out of date


<Create Your Own Pattern!>

  • <Your Pattern Description Here>
  • <Possibly Good For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"
  • <Possibly Bad For these situations…>
  • See the "Scrum Patterns Prime Directive"












This chart, a printable PDF, and the accompanying presentation can be found at: http://www.ScrumCrazy.com/DSPatterns


Q. How can I contribute my own Daily Scrum (or just general Scrum) patterns?

A. We're still in a "beta" stage, but we certainly encourage you to contribute your own patterns. So, for now, we simply ask that you email your idea to "patterns (at) scrumcrazy [dot] com" . Try to include a title, a 2-3 sentence summary, and some context ("possibly good for," "possibly bad for," etc). Your email doesn't have to be polished or perfect. We'll respond within a few business days.


Warning! The Scrum Patterns Prime Directive:

Patterns are not a concrete methodology, and using only documented patterns is a sure fire way to destroy creativity and innovation. These patterns are not an official part of Scrum in any way -- they're just ideas. So… use the patterns with care, and don’t forget to be creative. Mix and match, combine, tweak, create a new pattern, or don’t ever hesitate to use your own technique that doesn’t resemble an already existing pattern.

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Contact Us | Email: service@ScrumCrazy.com | Phone(USA): 1-720-443-1923