I’m often asked by teams starting Scrum “can we substitute the use of a software tool for the Daily Scrum?”. My answer is always an emphatic “No!”.
The Daily Scrum is not simply a meeting to update task hours. Its Daily Scrum’s purpose is for the team to frequently inspect their progress and make commitments to each other about the work to be done towards their agreed goal.
It takes awhile for teams new to Scrum to understand the purpose of the Daily Scrum. With their previous process, tasks may have been estimated and assigned to individuals by managers. How the tasks came together to fulfill larger goals was not the responsibility of the people working on them. Scrum turns that upside down. The team is given total responsibility for the tasks and how to accomplish the larger goal. This requires a different mindset for the team that is new to Scrum to learn. It’s not easy to learn. There are years of muscle memory to overcome. This is why the Daily Scrum seems wasteful at first. People think it’s about the task hours.
Effective Scrum teams don’t focus on the hours. Their Daily Scrum is a beehive of activity that focuses on what everyone is doing to accomplish the goal and what the problems are that need to be fixed. I call these “effective” teams rather than “experienced” teams, because I’ve seen some teams that have been using Scrum for years and never get to this level. It’s the role of the Scrum Master to push the team to being effective.
Teams that are new to Scrum that ditch the Daily Scrum in favor of a tool are potentially killing themselves at the starting gate.