Visibility in Teams Helps Create Success

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This morning was a cooler start in the 1000 Islands (in far far far Upstate NY) which meant that there was “River Fog” on the St. Lawrence River and early in the morning, 4:51am ET to be exact, I woke up to the long blast of a freighter out on the River. When there is low visibility, the commercial ships navigating the St. Lawrence Seaway sound a long blast of their horn every few minutes to ensure that others know they are there. It’s a majestic sound. You might wonder why they need to blast their horn in this day and age of all the GPS and other navigational tools. The reality is that they are also alerting smaller craft that might not have the sophisticated tools and making sure that in case any of the technology fails, the other freighters in the Seaway that are nearby can also hear.

It got me thinking over my first cup of coffee about how in times of low visibility in a project or team, we need to be sure to offer a call out as well to others in our nearby vicinity as a check-in. In fact, it seemed like a great analogy to me about how regardless of the digital Scrum or Sprint board your team may have (doesn’t matter whether it is Miro, Click-up or any other tool like Meg walked you through in her tool preview video), you need to have a way to connect and get a sense of where others are. During the past 13 months while numerous teams have experienced periods of remote work, this sounding out is more important than ever so we can as a team get a sense of where others are.

Have you put two and two together for the specific Scrum event I’m thinking of as the way we offer our sounding to our team members and get a sense of positioning even if visibility is low at the moment? Yup. The Daily Scrum. There is one big difference though between the Daily Scrum and the freighters’ sounding their horns on the St. Lawrence River. We can’t set the Daily Scrum aside and skip it on clear blue sky days. We need the Daily Scrum as a regular cadence to check-in with our teams on progress toward our Sprint goal and our Product Vision.

What have you seen as the benefits of the Daily Scrum in YOUR team/organization? I’d love to hear. Comment below and let me know what your favorite part of the Daily Scrum is.