Overrunning Daily Stand Ups

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At some point or another, it’s likely that you’ve had team members complain about the length of daily scrums. Although it’s practically impossible to end complaints once and for all, there are a couple of extremely simple phrases that you can add to your daily scrum to dramatically lower any complaints.

The Scrum guidelines states that the daily scrum should not be used for problem solving. Instead, ScrumMasters are likely to bring the problem solving topics back up once everyone has finished. By waiting until everyone has addressed the three questions of the daily scrum, isn’t going against the Scrum guidelines but it does lead to the team being there for longer than the standard 15 minutes. This will be where the majority of daily scrum complaints will undoubtedly be targeted at.

To avoid this, as soon as the daily scrum has ended, it’s important to announce how long the meeting took. For example, “Thanks, team. That took thirteen minutes.” This should be announced directly after the three questions of the daily scrum and before the potential problem solving.

Then, remind the team that there were some issues and problems brought up. Suggest to the team that those who are involved in the resolution of these problems will need to stay and discuss them, and those who are no longer needed to resolve any issues can leave.

Tips to remember:

  1. Announce how many minutes the daily scrum took, once the three questions of the daily scrum have been answered.
  2. Announce that the team members who are no longer needed for further discussions can leave.

These two steps help team members from feeling as if the daily scrum has exceeded its 15-minute standard and, in turn, should help lower the number of complaints about the length of your daily scrum.

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