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The daily scrum is a great way to keep a scrum team organized, motivated, and on track. It is a valuable tool for teams that use the scrum methodology as it helps them to stay focused on their goals. In this article, we’ll dive into this ceremony and ways to maximize it.
What Is Daily Scrum?
The daily meeting scrum is a type of Scrum ceremony used by teams to ensure that they’re on track to achieve their goals and make progress. It is also known as a ‘stand-up’ or a ‘daily stand-up’. It is an essential tool in the Agile methodology.
The timebox for a daily scrum is 15 minutes. It involves the entire development team and takes the form of a quick ‘check-in’. It’s a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and aware of any changes or updates to the project.
Daily Scrum Formats
Round Robin Format
Scrum daily meetings, also known as stand-up, are held daily to plan, update, and assess the progress of a team’s work progress. It is usually conducted using a Round Robin format. Scrum daily questions for this format are:
The daily scrum is used to provide an overview of the current state of the project as well as to help plan the tasks and goals for the day.
The Round Robin format of the daily scrum and the three daily scrum questions above are powerful tools to ensure that all team members can provide input and share their progress. This format allows each team member to provide a brief update on their tasks and then move on to the next team member without taking up too much time.
Walk the Wall
Another format that a Scrum team can explore for their daily scrum is the Walk The Wall. This is also known as Walk The Plank or Walk The Board.
Source: Development That Plays
Instead of going through three standard questions, the team goes over the tasks on their Scrum board, with a conductor as a facilitator. The conductor in the Walk The Wall format changes daily. Each team member gets his turn.
The team starts with the rightmost part of the board –the column that contains the tasks that are closest to finishing– and progresses towards the left. Whoever is assigned to the task shares her progress and updates the status of the task if needed.
Walk The Wall is a great format to try because it increases ownership of tasks. It also empowers members as they are recognized for how they contribute to the team.
Benefits Of Doing A Daily Scrum
Keeps Team On The Same Page
Daily scrums involve team members gathering together to discuss the progress of their tasks and to identify any potential issues or blockers. It is an effective way to keep everyone on the same page and to ensure that tasks are being completed on time and that everyone is working together towards the same goal. The daily scrum also serves as an opportunity for team members to ask questions and provide support and feedback to each other.
The daily scrum encourages team members to collaborate, think critically, and help each other come up with solutions to any obstacles that are preventing progress. This helps to foster a sense of “we” within the team. It also helps to make sure that everyone is working in the same direction and that no one is going off on their own and working on something that is not related to the team’s goal.
Giving an opportunity for the members of the Scrum team to report progress and solutions, the daily scrum serves as a reminder to team members of the importance of their individual roles. It helps to reinforce the idea that everyone is valued and that their contributions are meaningful. This sense of purpose and value, in turn, helps to boost morale and make people feel more engaged and motivated.
Flags Need To Pivot When Necessary
The daily scrum is also an effective way of identifying any potential problems early so the team can start finding solutions before they become bigger issues. Spotting problems early is beneficial for the team as they can act upon them quickly, as opposed to waiting for the problem to escalate. This way, the team can prevent them from becoming more serious, and ending up wasting time and resources.
Best Practices In Daily Scrum Meetings
To encourage preparation for daily scrums, it is important to begin with a clear agenda. As most Scrum teams follow a specific standard format, Team members should be encouraged to come prepared to the daily scrum meetings. This means having any necessary information and data available, as well as any questions or issues that need to be discussed. This will help ensure that the meeting is productive and focused on the task at hand.
Pick A Time That Works For Everyone
One of the ways to optimize the daily scrum is to hold it at the same time daily, and at a time that works for everyone.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best time for your scrum daily stand up scrum. First, you'll want to make sure that the time is convenient for everyone involved. Second, you'll want to make sure that the time is appropriate for the type of work being done. Finally, you'll want to make sure that the time is conducive to discussion and resolution of issues.
By following these guidelines, you'll be able to run effective daily scrums that are relevant and helpful to everyone involved.
As the name suggests, daily scrum meetings happen on a daily basis the timebox for daily scrum is 15 minutes tops. It should be ample time to achieve its benefits, but not too long that it starts to eat up so much of the work day.
It's important to manage your time well when running daily scrums. The Scrum Master or facilitator should ensure that the team gets to avoid lengthy discussions and that they stick to the agenda. If you can keep the meetings brief and efficient, you'll be able to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the team is making efficient use of their time.
Introduce Engagement Elements
With the scrum standup being a repetitive task, there can be a tendency for people to feel bored and zone out. This won’t be productive for you, your team, and your project. As much as possible, everyone should be alert and engaged.
A great way to encourage engagement is to introduce playful elements. The activity you introduce will depend on the culture of your team. You can invent common catchphrases at the end of an update, or dance moves to officially “pass the mic” to another person. You can also use a ball that you can pass around to determine who is next to talk.
Either way, introducing fun elements can help turn the daily scrum meetings into an opportunity to build relationships and camaraderie.
Stand Up Whenever Possible
While this might be challenging for remote teams, standing up allows teams to have a physical reminder and motivation to keep time. Standing would be a more uncomfortable position compared to sitting. This will encourage everyone to give short updates, and maybe even give gentle reminders when someone starts to report too long.
Discussions can always be continued after the daily Scrum. Standing up will remind the team that the meeting is meant to be short, and that it’s not the place for long conversations.
Allow Members To Be Recognized
In the video by Development That Plays that talks about walking the board, the narrator talks about allowing the team to move cards across the board during scrum –despite the common rule that the Scrum board should always be updated. Of course, this can be situational. But the gist of this sentiment is allowing people to be recognized.
Regardless if you use the Round Robin or the Walk The Wall format, find ways to recognize finished tasks and milestones during the daily standup scrum. This is a great way to improve morale as members are recognized for their contributions, and other members of the team would feel more motivated to contribute as well.
Who starts the daily scrum?
The daily scrum is facilitated by the Scrum Master. The Scrum Master gathers the development team to start the daily scrum.
Who is required to attend the daily scrum?
Primarily for the development team, but don’t overthink it. Include who needs to be included, but ensure that there are no disruptions
Why should the Product Owner attend the daily scrum?
As the Product Owner is not directly involved in the development, she is not required to attend all daily scrums. However, should she be helpful in addressing a blocker that the team is currently facing, or if she has information that is crucial to the progress of the project, it may be good for her to join.
Can the daily scrum be asynchronous?
Yes, especially if timezones don’t match and it’s impossible to find an optimal time to meet
Can members who are done reporting leave the daily scrum?
No. The scrum standup meetings are maximized when everyone listens to each one’s reports. As much as possible, start together and end together
Which role is most likely to communicate an impediment during a daily Scrum?
Being responsible for fulfilling the task within a sprint, the development team is the most likely role to communicate impediments within the project. The Scrum Master can help bring this up by asking the right questions, too.
A developer identified a major technical issue during a daily scrum. what should the team do?
The team should identify if it needs further discussion outside the daily scrum standup meeting and who needs to be involved. If it does, discussions should be continued outside the time box for daily scrum.
The daily scrum standup is a practice in Agile scrum to help teams stay collaborative and updated on the progress of the project. Teams can choose to facilitate the scrum daily standup using the Round Robin or Walk The Wall format.
Similar to how it is in sports, conducting a daily huddle can provide many benefits. These benefits span from general productivity, camaraderie, and problem-solving. Scrum Masters facilitate the daily scrum, but every team member contributes to making the most out of it.