We have a very small team: me, my 2 coworkers who are both my senior by over a decade, a web designer who usually works on marketing material but also does some graphical mock-ups or minor graphical fixes for our front end, and the manager/boss. The daily Scrum stand-up is me and my 2 coworkers. Due to the small scale of our team, we tend to take some liberties with the Agile system, like longer stand-ups with a lot more discussion between the 3 of us to agree on solutions for problems we have.

The situation I have is that, because I'm the only one who is at the office every day and I rarely take more than a day of vacation at a time outside of either holiday season, I'm often the only one at the office for the entire day, sometimes even for an entire week or longer. I'm not just talking about "both my coworkers works remote", I'm talking about "both my coworkers are taking a 2-3 week vacation at overlapping times". During this period, I'm the only person of our team who is present, so I have no one else to do Scrum with.

So far, what I've done during these period is do a Scrum stand-up with either the web designer or the manager. However, because neither of them has the domain knowledge the main Scrum team has, this tends to limit the scale of problem solving during the Scrum. They're also sometimes on vacation during the same period. If I'm truly the only person at the office during those times, pretty much the only thing I do during the Scrum is move items I've finished from "In Progress" to "Testing" and mark half days worked in Jira. I don't have the ability to bounce my progress or ideas off my coworkers.

I'm not sure how to handle this. There are resources on how to handle Scrum in a one person team if there is always only 1 person, but there don't seem to be many resources on how to handle teams where the number of members on a day to day basis varies between 1 and 3. Are there generally accepted ways to handle this particular limitation?

  • 8
    Well why are you doing stand ups? If it's to share information between the developers, and there's only one developer, then... job done.
    – jonrsharpe
    Jun 18, 2019 at 12:38
  • 2
    I don't know Scrum very well, but it is my understanding that the purpose of stand-ups is to reflect on the work that was done the previous day, and adjust accordingly the work of the following day. IOW, it is part of the continuous feedback cycle that is one of the pillars of Agile. So, yes, it is definitely important to do that. You don't have to stand up and talk to yourself, but you definitely need to do it. In fact, you should probably do it in writing, and send it to your entire team. Jun 18, 2019 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you are at the extreme thresholds of Scrum. According to the Scrum Guide, a Development Team that has fewer than three members has less interaction or doesn't need as much interaction as a slightly larger team. Therefore, you may not see benefits from using the Scrum framework in a way that slightly larger teams would. It also sounds like the full group isn't a singular Development Team that is cross-functional.

My advice would be to focus on practices over frameworks. Instead of trying to use the Scrum framework, leverage ideas from Scrum and make it your own. Of course, you can't call what you're doing Scrum anymore and have it be correct, but that's fine. Don't try to implement Scrum in a situation where Scrum doesn't make sense.


You should talk about this in your retrospective (or whatever regular process your team does to inspect and adapt), and come up with a solution that works for you. You already aren't doing "pure" scrum because you are doing design work in your standups. That's perfectly okay. Keep adjusting your process based on feedback.

The way I see it, you're really trying to solve the problem of not having a sounding board while colleagues are on vacation. Try to brainstorm suggestions for that. Maybe you can do some design discussions before they leave. Maybe you can wait to merge changes until they get back. Maybe you need to allocate more time when you are alone in order to be able to test multiple approaches.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.