5 Best Practices to Master Daily Scrum Meetings
Scrum is an effective Agile project management methodology. In this article, we’ll discuss different aspects of the daily Scrum meetings. By following these practices, you will increase the efficiency of your teamwork, improve the quality of your project and avoid unnecessary and time-wasting meetings.
1. Stick to the meeting objectives
The daily scrum meeting has certain objectives, e.g. to approach the project as a team, to inform about the status of the project, to identify the obstacles the team has come across, etc.
- Report what team members have done and what they have learned
- Evaluate if the plan for achieving sprint goals is still relevant
- Uncover things that should be changed (as a team) in order to achieve sprint goals
- Identify items that block or slow down your progress towards the goals
As a result of the meeting, all team members should know their status and plan for the next working day.
2. Keep it short
In order to avoid boring daily Scrum meetings, you have to keep the duration of a meeting up to 15 minutes. If the team can evaluate the past and the future tasks in 10 minutes, you should allow the duration to be 10 minutes. You don’t need longer meetings. Hold a concise meeting and resume the work.
If you face some problematic issues and you want to resolve them in 15 minutes or less then you will have to ‘sail wisely’. If the problem is serious and it needs longer time to be addressed, you may suggest to revise it after the daily Scrum meeting. Only if the problem has a very quick solution, you can resolve it on the meeting.
3. Keep in mind that the daily Scrum is not for the benefit of the Scrum Master
If you’re reporting what you did to the Scrum Master rather than addressing the rest of your team, you might want do something about that.
You should keep in mind that the Scrum master is a role in the Scrum environment (not a job position), so people that have other job positions can be a Scrum master: the team leader, the senior team member, etc. Its role isn’t a project manager – the Scrum Master just organizes the team in the process of developing the plan, trains the team in order to implement the Scrum methodology, and removes obstacles to the implementation of the methodology and the overall project development.
The purpose of the daily scrum meeting is for the team to understand what has been accomplished and what items will be planned for the next iteration. You should not concentrate on the Scrum Master; he is there to lead the team to be effective and is not there to enforce the development.
4. Evaluate all Product Backlog Items (PBI)
There are also other reasons why daily Scrum meetings are not engaging – when the team members see the items developed are not relevant to them. When you start a sprint, everyone chooses a backlog item to do, and then works on that item in the entire sprint.
The team members usually don’t worry about other backlog items, because there’s no reason to care. The backlog items are usually independent. No one is expecting that you need to integrate all items together, but you have to do that until the end of the Sprint. As the sprint approaches its finish, you will be in a position of not delivering what was planned.
5. Keep it relevant to the original plan
Have a plan (complete Sprint Backlog) that contains all backlog items that you are planning to develop, plus the known list of tasks that need to be accomplished. It will be good if you hold your daily Scrum meeting and talk about what your plan is for the next day, and uncover its relevance to the original plan. If you find that the new plan is pretty different from the original one, then you may just be wasting time on irrelevant items.