I was dialed into an East Coast standup early this morning (one of my many). The scrum lead (I still don’t like scrum master, and I especially hate ScrumMaster) opted to throw Rally up on a board and simply walk through the open tasks to see what’s done and what’s not sequentially –story by story, task by task. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it, but this is the first time I’ve really thought hard about why I don’t like it.

First, it seems to break agile. At best, it’s basically just a micro managed version of waterfall. At worse, depending on the lead’s personality and communication style, it’s a daily opportunity for the lead to hang himself or herself by undermining trust between the lead and the developers and erode the sense of community among the developers.

Second, maybe more importantly, I think it disrupts a developer’s sense of ownership and craftsmanship in his or her work. At least, that’s the way I used to feel. I feel like I own the work and I own the task, but now the scrum lead takes it away from me and uses it as a tool to interrogate me.

Third, because it removes the developer’s sense of ownership it gives them a good reason not to be honest or detailed about the tasks.

So in sum, I think I much prefer to leave it to the team do the usual three things and then we can do some kind of “ok, do we need to make adjustments to Rally, Taiga, the physical board, whatever…?” step to the standup.

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