20 Best Practices for Daily Scrum Meetings

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.

Daily Scrum Meetings – 20 Best Practices To ConsiderScrum Meetings Best Practices

In order to avoid problems with your daily scrum meetings, consider 20 of the best practices for scrum.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Recognize Success: During team meetings, it is okay to recognize and celebrate successes within the team. This is not only encouraged, but recommended.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Schedule Around Meetings: Knowing that these meetings occur daily will improve scheduling issues, but it is important that nothing should interfere.
  18. 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.
  19. Keep it Organized: Time is money, and you only have 15 minutes to discuss everything, so keep it focused and organized.
  20. 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.

13 Software Development Terms Every Business Leader Needs to Understand

Technology is changing at a pace that would have seemed impossible in past years. This represents an opportunity and a challenge for business leaders around the globe as many struggle to keep pace with the rapid pace of technology-driven change.

While it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date with technological advancement, it may also be increasingly difficult to separate the most important trends and terms from passing fads.

13 Popular Software Development Terms to Know

Software lingo, tech terms, and social media phrases can quickly become confusing and muddled. Keeping current tabs on technological movements will help increase communication, organization and relevancy in the workplace.

To help simplify things, here are 13 software development terms that will help keep you in the know:

1. iOS: This is an Apple operating system used mainly for mobile devices. Because of this touchscreen design, everything was created out of simplicity. As a user, you have limited access to the iOS system preferences and a few other areas.

Terminology to Know2. WordPress: As one of the most popular blogging systems found on the web, WordPress hosts more than 60 million websites. This free blogging software uses an open-source content management system. This software allows users to choose from several themes, plugins and other features in order to personalize blogs or websites.

3. MOOCs: A Massive Open Online Course or MOOC, is a free web-based educational program that connects students from all over the world. This type of learning program is sometimes structured or free-flowing, depending on the circumstances.

4. Open Source Software: This type of software is open and available for the public. This can be modified by anyone and is great for individuals looking to collaborate. This allows more user control and accessibility.

5. Iteration: This is the task of repeating a process in order to reach the final desired result. It also represents a project’s next life cycle.

6. Google Analytics: This service offered by Google allows you to get a glimpse of how your information is being viewed and processed on Google.

7. Bootstrap: This is the process that occurs during the reboot of your computer. Once the diagnostic tests and other configurations are made, the bootstrap program loads the operating system. It basically gets everything running in the right direction.

8. Mobile Device Management (MDM): This category includes smartphones, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers.

9. Agile: This type of project management focuses on collaboration and open communication between group members. The agile software development process is more functional and less static.

10. Waterfall: This project management style focuses on more of a step-by-step approach. Progress tends to flow downward, rather than right and left.

11. Scrum: This software development methodology focuses on the agile approach.

12. DNN (DotNetNuke): This free, open source platform allows individuals to build personalized and secure websites.

13. DST Patch: The Daylight Saving Time Patch is a code used to keep website pages up-to-date with time standards.

While some of this terminology may be completely new, it will likely become a part of your well-versed software development vocabulary in just a matter of time. Because of the overarching influence technology has on most aspects of business, making an effort to stay up on new software development terms is beneficial to leaders across an organization. Stay tuned for more information about the latest software development terms in future blog posts!

National Holidays in Costa Rica

Costa Rica HolidaysParades, costumes, dances, music and delicious foods are important parts of many cultural celebrations. And this is certainly true in Costa Rica – a country known for special holidays rich in tradition.

If you’re planning a visit to Costa Rica, you may enjoy experiencing the festivities of a local holiday. Here are some of the most widely celebrated holidays in Costa Rica.

Independence Day – One of the biggest holidays unique to Costa Rica is Independence Day, celebrated each year on September 15. On this same day in 1821 Costa Rica claimed their independence from Spanish rule. Government offices, many businesses, and schools close for the day while the people of Costa Rica celebrate their independence. Similar to Fourth of July in the U.S., Costa Rica celebrates Independence Day with good food, family time and cultural activities like traditional dancing and music. At approximately 6 p.m., the television and radio stations broadcast the country’s national anthem for everyone to sing along.

Annexation of Guanacaste – Another important date for this country is associated with the annexation of Guanacaste. This has officially become a national holiday on July 25. Before 1824, Guanacaste was part of Nicaragua. With the help of the Central American Federation, Guanacaste officially became a part of Costa Rica on July 25, 1824. This day is a celebration of Costa Rica’s strong core values of Democracy. As a public holiday, All Costa Ricans celebrate this day away from the office or schools with dancing, eating, music and singing.

Anniversary of the Battle of Rivas – On April 11, 1856, Costa Rica celebrates the life of an 18 year-old soldier, Juan Santamaria, who fought against the troop of William Walker, in order to maintain independence. This barefoot soldier is a national hero for Costa Rica and is celebrated annually with parades, concerts and national activities. His bravery and strength have been a symbol for Costa Rica’s strong culture for more than 150 years.

Labor Day – On May 1, 1857, William Walker officially surrendered against the Costa Rican army. In 1913, Costa Rica began celebrating their victory by declaring May 1, Labor Day. President Juan Rafael Mora Porras said it best in 1857: This has become a “day of glory for the Latin race who has defended their religion and their country.” This day is also celebrated in remembrance of defeating slavery in Costa Rica with parades and special events.

The history and successes of this proud and patriotic country are never forgotten. Every year the people of Costa Rica recognize the important and vital movements that have made Costa Rica the special place that it is today. Visiting during one of these national holidays is not only a lot of fun but it can be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the unique traditions and culture of Costa Rica.