The Daily Goal

Goal settingThe daily scrum is the most used scrum meeting. This sounds obvious because it occurs every day. But it’s also the first practice organisations and teams apply when starting with scrum.

Although the daily scrum is a very straightforward meeting with a clear structure and can be practiced daily, many teams fail to extract the potential value it offers. It is used merely as a status update meeting, performed mechanically and resulting in incoherent and ambiguous individual plans.

This is a shame, because a well-performed daily scrum should be energizing, inspiring and result in a shared refined daily plan that is created and supported by the entire team.

If your daily scrum has become unfocused, practiced mechanically and is an energy-drainer; using the best practice of a daily goal might be the solution!

I encourage all the teams that I coach to end the daily standup by defining a shared daily goal. It’s the goal the team aims to achieve by the end of the day. This is ideally a goal that applies to the entire team. It might be the sum of all the individual plans, but it can also be a specific goal that adds value for everyone.

Examples are:

  • Getting user story X done and user story Y into test
  • Empty the ‘to be tested’ column
  • Prepare the sprint review
  • Establish automated testing with tool Z
  • Share knowledge about some topic

Some advantages of using a daily goal are:

  • It offers the team focus. If the team can’t define a shared goal, it might be a good idea to study their daily plan again.
  • Otherwise, if a team member can’t match his daily plan with the daily goal, it might be wise to revise the daily plan again. Matching the daily goal isn’t mandatory, but it can be used as an indicator that someone isn’t doing the right tasks.
  • It stimulates cooperation, collaboration and teamwork.
  • It supports the team in setting small realistic goals that can be reviewed daily.
  • It’s great input for the retrospective

Naturally, using a daily goal isn’t rocket science. But that’s the beauty of it. Applying it is very simple; the results however can be surprisingly good!