When is a Daily Scrum not a Daily Scrum?

When it’s a status update.

The Daily Scrum (or daily stand up) is one of the most misused rituals in Scrum. If your Daily Scrum meetings are not a short, snappy, energetic synchronization of the team then it is probably a sign that something is wrong.

Everybody in the team should only be answering the 3 main questions.

  1. What did I do yesterday
  2. What am I going to do today
  3. Any impediments

Think about what happens when you connect your iPhone to iTunes. If everything is working as it should then this is a very quick process. The Daily Scrum should be the same:

  • “Yesterday I did this, today I’m doing this, I see no impediments” SYNCED
  • “Yesterday I did this, today I’m doing this, I see this impediment, impediment logged by Scrum Master” SYNCED
  • SYNC COMPLETE and everybody carries on with his day

But sometimes you connect your iPhone and it starts asking you questions like:

There’s a new version of iTunes available do you want to download and install it

The same thing can happen in the Daily Scrum:

“Yesterday I did this but I was thinking that it might be good to…”

“Yesterday I did this but I had a problem with x and I think it’s y but then it might be z and blah blah blah”

Just like when we’re trying to sync our iPhone we want to get the sync done and deal with these other issues separately. This is where the “Parking Lot” idea comes in.

The idea is that anything outside of the 3 main questions needs to be addressed afterwards in a separate meeting with only the people who are interested. It may be that everybody in the team is interested but don’t let these discussions turn your short and snappy synchronization into a status update/sprint planning/troubleshooting meeting.


Here is a great video of a Daily Scrum at Microsoft, what do you think about this? Is this a short snappy sync or a status update?

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