A Weighty Matter for the Daily Scrum

The problem of some individuals rambling on and on and on and on ... during the daily scrum has been with us probably since the first sprint. I recently came across a brilliant technique to help encourage people to keep it short.

Whoever is giving their update during the daily scrum needs to hold a 3 kilogram (6-1/2 pound) medicine ball at arm's length. This is light enough that you can hold the medicine ball while giving your updated, but it's heavy enough that you don't want to give a long update.Holding a medicine ball during the daily scrum

The idea for this comes from Certified ScrumMaster Kayleigh Main who says she uses a bright pink medicine ball--that's probably extra incentive for the men to keep things moving briskly.

When team members finish their updates, each tosses the ball to the next person to talk. Kayleigh told me that using the ball also helps keep the daily scrum fun and keeps things a bit less stressful, both of which are always great goals. Kayleigh is shown in the photo. From left to right in that photo are Patrick Assuied, Ryan Policarpio, Kayleigh Main, and Kerri Cleveland.

Don't mess with them--they're getting stronger every day.

I look forward to trying this out personally, and I look forward to your thoughts, both before and after giving this a try.

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Mike Cohn

About the Author

Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile as well as the Better User Stories video course. Mike is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and can be reached at hello@mountaingoatsoftware.com. If you want to succeed with agile, you can also have Mike email you a short tip each week.

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