The daily scrum standup is about answering three very simple questions:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What are you going to do today?
- Do you have any blockers?
All three questions are important, but you know what… this is another great case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the combination of all three that make the standup as effective as it can be.
I often see the third question get dropped from standups. I think developers naturally want to downplay impediments… I think they want to feel that they can solve them, no big deal. But the thing about forcing developers to articulate the things that might get in their way is not only so the Scrum Master or Product Owner has the opportunity to comment or act on them… the act of talking about your blockers forces you to think about it actively, and quite often things will come up that the developers themselves weren’t really aware of.
On top of that, undiscussed impediments are like little icebergs floating around in your sprint… icebergs with which you will most certainly collide on the afternoon before the sprint demo, when you have no time to respond in order to save the sprint. Keeping an up-to-date impediments log is the best way to avoid nasty surprises on sprint demo day.
What gets in your way?