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Effective teams: Plan the day

This is the second post in a series about what makes a team effective. Effective means, the team does the right thing to reach its goal.

Bad coordination

Bad coordination within the team is a major reason why teams are¬†not effective. Things are done multiple times (“oh, you already did this? Me, too!”). Unnecessary work is performed because we just assume that this should be done. We miss opportunities to go live early, to add the feature with a simpler, cheaper solution or to act on a good idea. Or we simply build the wrong thing because of a misunderstanding.

Plan the day

In Scrum we have a great opportunity to coordinate within the team on every day at the Daily Scrum.

Plan the day

We answer the three questions:

  • what happened since the last Daily Scrum
  • what impediments have to be solved
  • what will I do until the next Daily Scrum (and with whom)

But why do we answer these questions?

By answering these questions, we get everybody informed about where we stand now:

  • what is done and has not to be done anymore (no rework)
  • what has to change so that we can work¬†efficiently
  • everybody knows the plan how we spend the next day

These are all things about the future!

Most Daily Scrums I see are about the past. That is completely wrong. The Daily Scrum is about the future, about how we can work together to achieve as much as possible in the next 24 hours. We just talk about the past to know where we are at the moment.

Future oriented Daily Scrums

You should focus on the near future in your Daily Scrums. In my experience, it helps when the Daily Scrum is as early as possible in the morning. Because then we can plan the rest of the day.

When a team member arrives early in the morning, she cannot know what happened late in the evening when she was already home and the late workers did some awesome stuff. Therefore, you should discuss with your team, at what time everybody is normally in the office and do the Daily Scrum at this time. It is a great, motivating way to start the day.