Thursday, February 17, 2011

hot-potato daily Scrums

There's a client I'm working with that always uses a teleconference bridge to include remote team members and stakeholders in the daily scrums. Though I have done remote scrums in the past, I've always had a hard time hearing some people on the other end of the call, and I also found it to be exceedingly boring--something about the remote/virtual team puts pressure on people to talk a lot while they've got everyone's attention on the phone. A couple months ago we changed our Daily Scrums to be more self-organizing: at the first second of our 9:30am call, every developer present chimes in by announcing her/his name. The last one to 'arrive' shares what needs to be said, and calls the next developer. This forces everyone to at least remember who's on the call, and who has spoken--and it also helps people pay attention to one another better. Yet we noticed it wasn't helping the chickens much--so someone suggested yet another modification. Now, after the chime-in by developers, chickens chime in too--then it's a chicken who calls the next developer. Well, it's been great fun passing around the 'hot potato' as well as catching the chickens that aren't paying attention!

Do you have any phone-conference Daily Scrum tips to share?

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