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For the last two months I've been working as a scrum master. I need your help on how to make the daily standup better for all the team members and how to encourage the team to embrace it?

This is the problem: we follow scrum guidelines and limit the daily to 15 minutes, but sometimes we have these issues:

  • Some members feel that they are not heard, therefore, not important

  • Sometimes we go through PBI's and track it's progress, but it feels like rapport more than as sync for the team

What my question is, how to make this more as a team sync and less as a team rapport?

I feel that I should remove blockers but I expect from the team to self organize, even when blockers occur, i don't think that's only SM's job. What worries me is that our daily is more work progress status than team sync, that's my issue.

  • Some detail would be useful. In fact a LOT more detail would be useful. Hard to fix a problem if you haven't even described it... – Robbie Dee Jun 23 '19 at 20:31
  • hi Robbie, this is the problem. We follow scrum guidelines and limit daily to 15 minutes. But, sometimes we have this issues: - Some members feel that they are not heard, therefore, not important - Sometimes we go through PBI's and track it's progress, but it feels like rapport more than as sync for the team What my question is, how to make this more as a team sync and less as a team rapport? Hope this helps, thanks. – DarkKnightSM Jun 23 '19 at 20:32
  • If they're raising blockers then it is your role to remove those blockers. If they're just general gripes, then cover these in the retrospective. – Robbie Dee Jun 23 '19 at 20:35
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    @DarkKnightSM: instead of burying your additional information in hard-to-read comments, please put that parts into your question (that is what the "edit" button is for). I did this for you this time, please check if I got it right. – Doc Brown Jun 23 '19 at 20:42
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    For someone to not be heard, there must be someone else who isn't doing the hearing. Have you talked to these individuals? – Bryan Oakley Jun 24 '19 at 1:08
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There are a number of aspects to the points you've raised so far.

Developers will raise a number of issues in the standup and elsewhere. Part of your job as SM is to filter the noise from the genuine issues. Some developers always seem to have something to complain about while others may mention the same issue time and time again. Standups should be timeboxed but you have the option of taking festering/burning issues offline to discuss in greater detail if need be.

The question is about standups but I'm wondering if the other ceremonies are being adequately exploited. Problems should be raised in the retrospective with remedial steps being included in planning. If developers feel their only avenue for raising issues is the small daily window and then they're ignored - well, it is easy to see why they're frustrated.

If you feel team members aren't working well together make it clear they you expect them to collaborate on various tasks. It isn't uncommon for otherwise talented developers to beaver away separately on parts of a system only to have the wheels come off when it is all joined together due to various assumptions. Identify these potential problems early.

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Improving the standup

What my question is, how to make this more as a team sync and less as a team rapport?

I don't think there is enough detail in your question to answer that. You've described symptoms (some people feeling like they aren't being heard) but haven't explained the root cause. Are some team members joking around without listening? Are they being disruptive? Are they staring at their phones? Do some team members dominate the timebox?

I'm going to make a guess and say that your standup has become nothing more than each person giving the scrum master (or PO) a status report. That is not the goal of a standup. The team should be telling each other the answers to the three scrum questions. The scrum master and any other stakeholders need to be a fly on the wall rather than an equal participant.

Have you tried literally having the team stand in a circle, with you and any other stakeholders standing outside the circle? Perhaps if every member of the team is facing the rest of the team and with you on the outside, they will feel more like they are talking to their teammates and less like they are reporting to a manager.

If someone feels they aren't being heard, then that means that others aren't listening. Do you know who those people are? Have you talked to them? You should work with those individuals to understand why they aren't listening, and then help them understand why it's important for them to give their team members respect during the standup.

Use the retrospective

The way to solve this isn't to ask for help on the internet. Scrum has retrospectives for a reason. The retrospective exists for the team to solve team problems, and what you've described is a team problem. As scrum master, you should introduce this as a topic at the next retrospective. At the end of the day, this is a problem that the team needs to solve for itself.

Removing blockers

I feel that I should remove blockers but ... I don't think that's only SM's job.

You are correct. In my opinion, it is not your job to remove blockers. It is your job to make sure that blockers get removed. Sometimes that means you or the PO needs to step in and actually remove the blocker, but other times it means you need to work with members of the team so that they can resolve the blockers for themselves.

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