Scrum meetings should be a part of every great product development team working with an agile approach to software development. Ideally, this daily meeting should meet certain specific requirements to most effectively document and complete project tasks, communicate status updates, and ultimately, to achieve excellence.
While these daily meetings can sometimes become monotonous for team members, it is up to the scrum master to keep every team member involved and engaged. There are many mistakes scrum teams unknowingly make during their daily meetings. And sometimes these can lead to communication problems, lower morale and general frustration.
In order to avoid problems with your daily scrum meetings, consider 20 of the best practices for scrum.
- Keyword is “Daily”: While the timing of these meetings may change, every team member should expect to attend a scrum meeting every single work day. This will help keep the project and team on task.
- Timing is Everything: Once it has been established that these meetings are daily, selecting a time that is convenient for everyone will absolutely benefit the team. Also keep the meeting to a 30 minute minimum. And if you can keep it to 15 minutes, that’s even better!
- Everyone Stands: Standing helps not only your physical focus, but your mind as well. This gives team members the chance to get away from their desks and stay on track. Because standing for a long period of time becomes unpleasant, this will encourage everyone to stay within the meeting time constraints as well.
- Discussion at the End: These meetings should allow team members the opportunity to get their thoughts, feelings and struggles out on the table. All discussion between members should occur at the end of the scrum, or individually after the meeting. This will help everyone stay committed to the time constraints.
- Everyone Attends: If you’re involved in the task at hand, you attend. The participation and involvement of all of the team members will only encourage positive results.
- Look Back: If everyone adds their own thoughts about the day before, this will help get a better insight into the current work being completed.
- Be Present: After getting a look back, keeping everyone present in the project will help create a mutual understanding of the current work goals for the day.
- Look Forward: Now that you have looked back at yesterday and the current tasks, moving toward the future will help you maintain a clear vision of the project to help things stay on the right track.
- Discuss Problems: Problems should be discussed during the team meeting. Brushing over an issue can create more issues in the long run and keep the team from meeting project deadlines.
- Recognize Success: During team meetings, it is okay to recognize and celebrate successes within the team. This is not only encouraged, but recommended.
- Leave Out the Managers: While the manager and senior manager may be involved on this project in some way or another, leave this daily scrum meeting up to team members and the scrum master.
- Make it Peer-to-Peer: Just because the scrum master tends perform the leadership role in this team, it is important that everyone feels comfortable to discuss issues on a peer-to-peer basis.
- Plan Ahead: Because these are daily meetings, it should not be a surprise. Plan ahead with your schedule to make sure you can attend. And also plan your comments and reporting; this will help the team stay on track.
- Embrace Obstacles: Discuss project problems and challenges in a positive and proactive manner. Unexpected obstacles are a part of many projects. Keeping a good attitude during a time of crisis will encourage team members to successfully push through.
- High Energy Levels: The scrum master should be in charge of keeping a high morale and energy during these meetings. These should be focused and productive meetings.
- No Multi-tasking: All attention should be placed on the project being discussed and the team members conversing. All other outside issues can be dealt with after the meeting.
- Schedule Around Meetings: Knowing that these meetings occur daily will improve scheduling issues, but it is important that nothing should interfere.
- Respect: This team meeting needs to revolve around respect for fellow team members and their ideas. This mutual level of consideration will only help the team succeed.
- Keep it Organized: Time is money, and you only have 15 minutes to discuss everything, so keep it focused and organized.
- Have Fun: Lastly, these meetings are essential and unavoidable, so make it fun and enjoyable for all team members.
Whether you implement all twenty of these ideas, or just a few, your team is already moving in the right direction. These daily scrum meetings can become hectic at times, so try and keep things fresh and organized. Your project’s success depends on these meetings, so always use this time wisely.