The Daily Scrum Meeting
The Daily Scrum Meeting is short meeting held by the Scrum Team on a daily basis. The meeting provides the Scrum team with an opportunity to look at where they are in the Sprint (how much is done, how much is left to do, how much time is left) and to decide what they want to do next. It also tends to improve the team's performance (by providing frequent opportunities for the team to act and work as a team, and it can eliminate many other less productive meetings (like the weekly project status meeting, for example). The Daily Scrum meeting has a few very basic rules that, when followed properly, will allow your Scrum Team to quickly learn and grow.
Updating the taskboard
The rules are:
- Only the team participates; others may attend, but must wait until the meeting is over for questions or comments (see "Chickens and Pigs").
- Each team member briefly answers the same three questions:
During the daily Scrum, it is very common for a team member to suggest that a longer conversation needs to take place about some item or another mentioned during the meeting. This is encouraged and should take the form of, "I'd like to discuss that after the daily Scrum..." or "Can you stay and talk about this after the Scrum?" These sidebar conversations are frequently prompted by something said during the daily Scrum and help the team to identify topics that need more thought and maybe some specific action.
The Time and Place
It is very important that the daily Scrum be held at the same time and in the same place every day. This helps to eliminate confusion as to the time or location of the daily Scrum and ensures that team members have no excuses for not being at the meeting on time. If at all possible, the daily Scrum meeting should be held where the team works, standing in a circle at the team's task board.
Starting the Daily Scrum
Other than the location of the meeting, the most important aspect of starting the daily Scrum meeting is that all team members are present when the meeting is supposed to start. Lateness should not be tolerated and the Scrum Master should take steps to ensure that all team members are ontime. Click here for alternative practices to help improve your daily Scrum meeting.
As noted earlier, there are three questions answered by each team member during a daily Scrum. These questions are very important, as they help the team understand their status and gives them the information they need to make decision about the work they committed to do at Sprint Planning.
- What have I done since the previous daily Scrum?
- Stick to the time between now and the previous daily Scrum and talk only about work related to the team's activities (if a team member works part time on the team, they should talk about only what is relevant to THIS team). Provide enough detail that everyone on the team understands what you're working on without going into too much detail. Try talking about your work in terms of tasks on the Sprint Backlog.
- What will I do between now and the next daily Scrum?
- Again, talk only about work pertaining to the team. What tasks are you going to work on? Keep it short, but make it clear what it is you plan to do. If you need help, mention that as well.
- What obstacles got in my way of getting work done?
- In this situation, an obstacle is ANYTHING that slows you down or stops you from completing tasks on the Sprint Backlog. Obstacles can be meetings (group meetings, department meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc), work given to you by someone else, damaged or slow laptops or computers, unavailability of a crucial person, or even if you simple aren't sure how to proceed with your current tasks.