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Each day during the sprint, a project team communication meeting occurs. This is called a Daily Scrum (meeting) and has specific guidelines:

  • Plan the next 24 hours
  • All members of the development team come prepared with the updates for the meeting.
  • The meeting starts precisely on time even if some development team members are missing.
  • The meeting should happen at the same location and same time every day.
  • The meeting length is set Timeboxed to 15 minutes.
  • All are welcome, but normally only the core roles speak.

During the meeting, the three questions option is the most popular option used:

  • What have I done since yesterday which brings me closer to the Sprint Goal?
  • What I am planning to do today which will help me achieve the Sprint Goal?
  • Any impediments/stumbling blocks which prevent me from meeting the Sprint Goal?

The advantages of the Daily Standup meetings are

G It Gets the Team together
I Information is shared
F It helps them Focus
T It builds the Team

Best Practices in a Daily Scrum meeting

  • The daily scrum should be 15 minutes or less
  • Everyone should Stand during the meeting (so that the meeting is short!)
  • Even if the participants are remotely located, they should stand
  • No side conversations till the meeting is over

Daily Standup is NOT a status meeting

Daily Standup is not a good-old status meeting. This is a coordination meeting for the development team to prepare a plan for the next 24 hours. This meeting is not run by the Scrum Master. This is coordinated by the development team members themselves. Scrum Master may teach the development team how to run this meeting, however, the intention is not for the scrum master to take status.

Handling Daily Stand up Meetings

  • Using the 3 questions effectively: The Product Owner and Scrum Master should highlight the importance of the three questions in front of the team members so they understand their purpose. Team members should communicate information that brings value to others on the team. They should also try to identify team members who can help them resolve their issues.
  • Resolving blockers: The Scrum Master should create a list of blockers and assign them to team members or managers. The Scrum Master should also ensure the team is burning through the blocker list.
  • Daily Scrum logistics: Conducting the Daily Scrums when team members are in the same time zone and speak the same language is much simpler than for a team with members spread in multiple countries and time zones, having many different languages and cultures.

o   Ways of communicating during the daily Scrum: Having face-to-face daily Scrum meetings gives the team the highest level of collaboration possible.

o   Teleconference meeting: Distributed teams with overlapping work hours should use a teleconference call to the same phone number every day to hold their daily Scrum meetings.

o   Video conference meeting: The main advantage of this approach is that team members get to see one another, so there is less nonverbal communication loss.

o   Approach to handling time zone issues: Distributed teams can use methods such as Daily Scrums through documentation, liaison approach, alternating meeting times, and share the pain to deal with distributed daily Scrums where the team has members with no overlap in their work hours.

o   Background noise can be distracting on a teleconference, so teams should chose a quiet room to conduct the meeting.

o   Keeping the team engaged: Possibly the best way to stay engaged and to make sure that others on the team stay engaged is awareness i.e. build awareness of what the team is working on.

o   Facilitating the meeting: In a distributed environment, as individuals come into the call, they will identify who they are. The Scrum Master calls each person and asks for their response. They may respond in the order they arrived at the teleconference or the Scrum Master may choose to call on each person.

o   Taking daily Scrum notes: This helps the distributed team members overcome language problems, plan and learn. Chat Tools help distributed teams do daily Scrums.

  • Scrum of Scrums: These can solve distributed team roadblocks, future dependencies, commitments to other team members, issues with integration, and other points that impact one another.