Times we’ve stopped doing Home Scrum for a while
There have been several times when Francis and I have stopped doing the Daily Scrum (or any Scrum events) for a few months at a time. The first was after (and during) a month-long trip to Vietnam, which was six months after we started doing Scrum. It took a bit of conscious effort to get ourselves back into doing it, but Francis was still unemployed and working towards joining the ambulance service, so he desperately needed the structure and we knew we had to start it again for his sake.
Another big disruption was when Francis actually started the job, in October 2019. For several weeks we didn’t use Home Scrum at all, mainly because Francis now had a routine and his time was filled and structured without much extra effort. In fact, we’ve never managed to be as consistent using Scrum since then, and as I write this in the spring of 2021, the main reason we’re continuing to try and use it is to provide me with more structure and motivation while I, like everyone, am in Covid lockdown at home.
It is important to take the Daily Scrum seriously—if we missed a day, we called it ‘yellow alert’, and two days would be ‘red alert’ as we felt things slipping away from us. Nowadays, we make one person responsible for reminding us to do the Daily Scrum, and switch that responsibility around every two weeks. If we don’t do it, then the responsible person has to fork out £5 to the other person for the missing day, which has provided a good incentive to consistently get us both in front of the board.
But at the same time, be realistic: you will occasionally slip in your consistency of using Home Scrum and need to restart. It is okay to lose the thread for a while and then pick it up again and ‘relaunch’ your system. It is much better to expect this to happen and not get thrown off when it does, than to expect yourselves to never fall off the wagon at all.
Also, you might not need Home Scrum forever. You might get so used to it that it loses its ability to hold your interest, despite continually adapting it to suit you. And that’s fine. Scrum is a high-effort solution, and as long as stopping means that you are doing fine without it, then that is a good thing.
Before you discard Scrum though, it may be the case that the reason you are no longer finding it useful is because you haven’t set effective goals, including meaningful Sprint Goals. As a result, the Scrum events can become empty rituals without a motivating purpose.