Daily Scrum Meetings also called the daily stand-up or the huddle or stand-up. These are short meetings and is one of the most common features of a Scrum framework or any Agile environment. The importance of a daily Scrum meeting is that besides helping develop sound collaborative efforts and encourage great teamwork; there is transparency amongst team members. This is why Scrum is one of the most popularly used Agile methodology frameworks.
A daily Scrum is a time-boxed event as per the Scrum Guide and it should not take more than 15 minutes. This is where the work for the day is discussed, activities synched and the plan created for the day is prepared. The action plan for the next 24-hours is decided. But note that, this is not the only time for the Developers to discuss the Sprint, they can meet at any time to get things clear on their working process. To make things simple, Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place every day. The work of the last daily Scrum meeting is inspected and the impending Sprint work is forecasted.
Tips to run an effective Daily Scrum meeting
Here are the top 10 daily Scrum tips so that this daily Scrum meeting can be effectively conducted.
1. Daily Scrum meet should be held daily
Many teams are happy to organize the daily stand-up every week. It is because they feel that time is lost in the meeting or they have nothing much to discuss in the daily meet. However, the Scrum Master and the Scrum team need to understand that the objective of the daily Scrum meeting is to review the backlog and accordingly plan the day so that meaningful work happens to achieve the Sprint Goal. Also, by not holding the meeting daily, teams lose out on the opportunity to collaborate and work transparently which is emphasized in the Scrum Guide.
2. Talk about accomplishments
It is a good idea for the team members to talk about what they accomplished yesterday and what they plan to complete today. This attitude is better. Concise, clear points should be discussed and the meeting concluded in the given time frame.
3. Start with the Sprint Goal and then move to the daily goal
The ideal way to start the daily Scrum meeting is to summarize the goal of the Sprint so that the team members are sure that they are on the right path and focused. Then share the daily goal. The goal for the day is what the team as a unit plan to achieve during the day. At the end of the meeting, it is a good idea, to sum up, the daily Scrum meets with the precise goals for the day so that the team is one-hundred percent focused. Also, by sharing the goals, it is ensured that everyone in the room is on the same plane because if someone has an issue, this is the time to speak out, and the action plan is revised accordingly.
4. Keep a watch on the time
The Scrum guide mentions specifically that the Daily Scrum should not take more than 15 minutes. Ensure that it is time-boxed for these many minutes only. It can take lesser than this too, but at no cost, more than this. Point-to-point conversations and discussions should be the aim. In case larger conversations need to happen, it can happen outside and later.
5. Who will attend?
The daily Scrum meeting is mainly for the developers of the Scrum Team to discuss the Sprints. If The Scrum Masters and Product Owners are actively working on Sprint Backlog items, then they also can be a part of the Daily Scrum.
6. Time and place of the meeting
Typically, there should be much ado about this. This daily Scrum tip is a basic to-do entity. Ensure that the meeting is held every day at the same time and in the same place. To make the meeting optimally productive, hold it first thing in the morning, as soon as everyone is in. Repeat the same time and place everyday!
7. Let the Development Team take the meeting forward
The Daily Scrum meeting is not for the Scrum Master to facilitate or start. It is a meeting for the Development Team and can be facilitated by anyone from the team. This way the team is always empowered and self-organized; and not dependent on a single person, the Scrum Master.
8. Develop a healthy no-blame-game culture
Everyone in the Scrum Team is equally responsible and accountable in the Scrum Framework. The team works with heightened teamwork and collaboration and hence needs to work with values like respect for one another, transparency, and openness. They should be able to challenge one another and at the same time look forward to learning from their failures, rather than blaming one another for failures.
9. Come in prepared
Even though the meeting is for 15 minutes and is usually held with everyone standing up, team members must be prepared for the meeting. There is no time to waste here; no unnecessary discussions or debates. To-the-point conversations that are totally in sync with the sprint goals should be permitted.
10. When someone is rambling, drop hints
It is common for team members to indicate to a speaker that he has gone on for too long and is almost rambling, rather than adding value to the conversations. People use buzzers; some use Elmo dolls while some others use rubber rats. Not directly telling the other person to shut up or stop but hinting that he or she needs to put a stop immediately. Some people also try the medicine balls which weigh about 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. Every speaker holds the ball while talking. The weight keeps reminding the speaker if he is going beyond the permitted time or not.
You could call it a morning meeting or a stand-up meeting, the Daily Scrum meeting is an essential and integral part of the Scrum Framework. There are lots of benefits of doing it the way mentioned in the Scrum Guide. From sharing accomplishments to problems and impediments, discussing improvements, and being updated on what everyone is doing, one needs to ensure that the meeting is held effectively for the greater good of the Sprint.
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