The 3-Question format is the most popular format for Daily Scrum. The 3 questions focus on 3 things

  1. What did I do yesterday which helped the team get closer to the sprint goal?
  2. What will I do today which will help the team get closer to the Sprint Goal?
  3. Are there any impediments which will prevent my team to get closer to the Sprint Goal?

While the first part of the question is very clear on what I did, what will I do and are there any impediments, there are some points I would like to make with respect to the second part of the question – i.e. about the goal.

  • It is very important that the Development Team understands what is the purpose of Daily Scrum. The purpose is NOT to give status to Scrum Master or to the senior-most in the team. The purpose is to prepare a plan for next 24 hours. If the purpose is plan, then the objective to achieve the Sprint Goal takes a paramount importance.
  • When the Development Team thinks about the Goal all the time, the focus changes from just the activities to achieving the Sprint Goal.

So the 3-Question format has all the ingredients required to make the Daily Scrum effective and many teams have been using this to their advantage. However, the Development Team members miss out is on few of the following things when they change the format to a plain discussion format.

  • They keep reporting the status – as if the accountability is of the Scrum Master and not theirs.
  • They don’t keep the goal in front and keep discussing the activities
  • They keep discussing the details instead of focusing on keeping the discussions short and sweet. You can always discuss details later
  • They don’t have the updated Sprint Backlog in front when they are discussing
  • They don’t get to the plan for the next 24 hours and just spend 15 minutes “talking something”

To summarize, it is not necessary to do the Daily Scrum in the 3-Question format. Development can choose any format that they want. However, the essence of the Daily Scrum must not be lost in trying to change the format of Daily Scrum to a plain discussion format.