Daily Scrum meetings serve as an avenue for team members to discuss their individual tasks for the business day. These meetings are intended to create an atmosphere of transparency and help team members collaborate better. Today, most high-performance development teams the world over hold daily Scrums before the start of each working day.
To succeed in an Agile Scrum career, it’s important to learn how to host and make the most of the daily Scrums. But what does it take?
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Here are eight things to keep in mind to make the most of your next Scrum!
1. Stick to the Objective
Scrum meetings can be a smooth ride and don't necessarily have to be hard if the team sticks to the goal of the meeting.
It is highly imperative that the Scrum Master states the objective of the meeting and structures the Scrum about the following three pillars:
- Work accomplished the previous day.
- The plan for today.
- A roadmap for the short-term future — are there any hurdles in the way?
2. Stick to the Timeframe
Scrums are designed to last for about 15 minutes. The team gathers at the same location at a set time every day. It's a standup meeting to drive home the point that it's not a formal affair, and meandering aimlessly through one is a waste of precious productive time that could otherwise be utilized toward the next Sprint.
- Start the meeting on time.
- Stick to the guidelines.
- Adhere to strict timelines.
- Wrap up the meeting within the decided timeslot for effectiveness
- Insist that the meeting is to focus on the day's task and stick to 15 minutes.
Time-boxing Scrums to 15 minutes keeps the discussion brisk but relevant.
3. Manage Post-Meeting Resolutions
As Scrum Master, it’s your responsibility to ensure the meeting is on point. Questions, clarifications, or issues that deviate from the three essential questions are to be discussed after the Scrum. Depending on the situation, you could organize a quick catch-up with smaller groups right after the Scrum to resolve any open threads.
By design, Scrums are not a great platform for problem-solving or issue resolution.
4. Inform Participants to Come Prepared
It is imperative that the Scrum master clearly insists that all participants need to come prepared to answer the three questions with precision and be as informed as possible. Scrum participants should be able to contribute effectively to the discussion on any of the following points:
- Their role and contribution.
- Tasks assigned to them for the day and how they fit into the overall project.
- Planned tasks for the future.
5. Engage One-on-One With Every Individual Participant
As Scrum Master, it’s important to engage with every attendee and encourage them to participate. This instills a sense of belonging among team members and gives the team a better idea of where the project stands.
6. Keep the Discussion Centered on the Team and Project Objectives
Scrum masters need to clearly emphasize at the beginning of every Scrum that the purpose of the meeting is to get the team together to chart a way forward for the project.
- Each contributor to the project states the storyboard of the action plan and contributes to the larger whole.
- Scrums should not be side-tracked to delve into technical glitches or other issues.
7. Lay Down a Clear Focus for the Scrum
The focus of the meeting has to be clearly defined. The meeting target is clearly stated before it commences. As Scrum Master, it is your responsibility to:
- Ensure the meeting target is the focus of all the logs presented by the contributors.
- Nip any discussion points tangential to the target.
- Focus on answering the three questions for every story.
8. Keep Stand-Up Meets Brief
You can get the most out of a Scrum if you keep it brief. Long, drawn-out Scrums defeat the purpose of having stand-up meets for progress. As a guideline, ensure the meet is strictly stand up only, but don’t keep them standing for too long!
9. Lead From the Front
The Scrum Master should take the lead in initiating the discussion and keeping it going. Address all those who are gathered and communicate the guidelines and what is expected from each invitee. Set the ground rules and enforce them.
- The individual narrates the story to all the attendees and not just the Scrum master.
- Scrum master to focus on the team and refrain from updating the Sprint backlogs.
- Meeting is not a status update but a verbal acknowledgment of the individual task to the entire team.
- Scrum master should step out of the team circle and enable interaction among the teammates.
10. Decide on an Appropriate Time and Venue
The team needs to decide on a time for the Scrum and the venue has to be a casual meeting area rather than a formal conference room. Choose a convenient time when all members are likely to be present in the office and project progress isn’t impacted adversely. Avoid choosing a meeting room on another floor.