I’ve been coaching again on with my current client, and I’ve been see some folks struggle with the three Scrum questions: what did you do last (yesterday or today, based on what time of day your Scrum occurs); what are you going to do next (today or tomorrow); do you have any blockers. It’s clear that people don’t always get why we restrict the Scrum to just these three things.In lean parlance, a daily Scrum is “waste,” as in what’s wasted in the process of producing a product. Just like cutting a part from a piece of metal, the remains after the part is cut out is waste. It is not part of the final product, but something you must do.

One of the goals of lean is to minimize waste, and so we want to minimize the size of the daily scrum. We could try to do away with it altogether, but we need basic coordination of who’s doing what work in a team that is self-managing and self-organizing.

With the mindset of a minimal daily coordination in mind, it becomes clear why we focus exclusively on the three questions in a daily Scrum: they are the bare minimum that everyone on the team should know in order to coordinate their work. Once we have that information, individuals can proceed with their work.

It’s frequently the case that team members will need to talk with one another but these conversations actually involve everyone on the scrum team, and so in order to minimize waste and optimize productivity, we save these conversations for outside the scrum.


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