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Summary

The first step to running effective Daily Scrums is to decide the meeting days and times for the team. The distribution level has an impact on how challenging the Daily Scrums will be for the team. Collocated teams with members that telecommute part-time can successfully engage in the Daily Scrum by calling into the meeting. Geographically distributed teams with an overlap in workdays can set up a time to meet daily during their standard workday. Teams with no overlap in their workdays are the most challenging to schedule.

There are four different approaches that teams can take to dealing with no overlap in their workdays. The Sharing the Pain model more closely aligns with providing the same benefit as co-located teams.

The following sections will discuss how to conduct the Daily Scrum meeting first for teams with and without any overlapping work hours. Table 6.9 shows the different approaches with which collocated and distributed teams can decide to perform their Daily Scrum meetings and the method we recommend these teams use.

Table 6.9. Summary of Different Daily Scrum Approaches with Recommendations

Team Type

Possible Approaches

Recommendations

Collocated Team

  • Face-to-Face Meeting
  • Teleconference
  • Videoconference
  • Instant Messaging

Face-to-face meeting; it increases the communication, commitment, and collaboration between team members.

Collocated Part-Time

  • Face-to-Face Meeting
  • Teleconference
  • Videoconference
  • Instant Messaging

Face-to-face meeting for the collocated team members with a teleconference line open for remote team members.

Distributed with Overlapping Work Hours

  • Face-to-Face Meeting
  • Teleconference
  • Videoconference
  • Instant Messaging

Team members should find a time where the work hours overlap and members in the same location meet face-to-face with a teleconference line open to talk with remote team members. If members in the different locations are unable to hear each other, they should consider having everyone dial in. When verbal language is a problem, you can use an instant messaging session at the same time for clarity.

Distributed without Overlapping Work Hours

  • Share the Pain
  • Alternating Meeting Times
  • Using a Liaison
  • Documentation

Share the pain by selecting a standard meeting time when everyone will attend because it respects the spirit of Scrum and agile the best. Alternating meeting times also works well by allowing the team to switch off on times that are most comfortable.

Regardless of the approach the team selects for their Daily Scrums, the team has an opportunity to reevaluate the decision at the end of each Sprint. During the retrospective, the team can discuss whether they should consider adopting a different model to improve their performance.

Once the team begins conducting distributed Daily Scrums, they will discover some issues related to the unique points of the Daily Scrum (for example: brevity, intensity, and one-way communication pattern). To be productive, the team and ScrumMaster will need to remove side conversations, effectively facilitate the Daily Scrum, use notes where necessary, overcome language barriers, and recognize local schedules and holidays.

Tools are less of an issue with the Daily Scrum. A chat tool can help to overcome language barriers, the team can use a wiki or another repository to store notes, and a full-duplex phone can help when some of the team members meet in the same conference room.

Scaled teams will engage in Scrum of Scrums meetings as well as Daily Scrums to help with coordination and integration between teams.

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