What’s Being Reported in Scrums? – Give Me More Information! (Part 1/2)

Scrums can be a great opportunity for the team to disclose to others what is happening, recently, today, and what needs followup or help on. Scrums are a great way to communicate daily.

Besides scrums, many managers and even employees have a lot of reports to give, status reports and the like. The real question is, are we giving enough information in our update status reports or giving enough information to take action from during our scrums?

I’m not a big fan of periodic progress reports. Not that they aren’t important, I totally think some are of great value! But many times, periodic powerpoint and document progress reports are a symptom of hierarchical thinking. They make everybody ‘look up’ at managers rather than ‘out’ to users.

The problem is, progress reports don’t tell you what’s going on. In many cases, they tell you what people want to tell you. In many cases, they are just a snapshot in time and they don’t give you enough information to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, decisions based on such incomplete information are risky and likely to be poor. Producing reports is (waste?). Well, at least in many cases it’s not adding value.

John Seddon says that “reports are substitutions for action.” To really know what’s going on you must go see the real thing for yourself. And do it regularly.

SCRUMS are the answer to this… but are we doing this well?

Regular face-to-face interaction with people doing the work and seeing actual progress is the place to obtain actual status and updates.

We need to be more detailed in our daily standups.

We hear a lot of “I’m working on ___ project.” – Yes, we know that. But what are you actually doing?

Tell us, we want to know! Details details details!

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