Scrum Notes: How to make Effective and Efficient Daily Scrum Meeting

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When you talk about Scrum, the word daily scrum mostly pop out in many team member’s head. This is one of signature activity from this framework. I notice this activity can be so challenging for most of team, including mine. Several reactions that I got when I jump in like:

  • “It’s already 15 minutes already and not finished yet”
  • “Too many issue to discuss”
  • “It’s boring, I don’t need a status report”

Based on Scrum Guide, I took note that the intention to have a daily scrum is to know our work progress and adapt any dynamic situation along our work. It does not need long hours to know it. Imagine if you take a trip with your friends to a city and wondering that you maybe got lost.  You can do one of this scenario:

  1. You start a lame discussion, by take a point why we got lost and ask one by one from your friends about what is their opinion about it?
  2. Just ask them do we lost? If yes, where is road we should take in next turn?

Summarize First

To get effective daily scrum, there should be a facilitator. It does not mean the scrum master must be the person. Any members should able to do it and volunteer him/her self to be a facilitator. If you need to learn how to facilitate the meeting, you can learn here.

Okay, suppose you volunteer your self become a facilitator. First thing that I recommend to do is summarizing your team situation by ask your self 3 magic question from scrum guide. You can answer yourself about the work progress by use issue tracker (JIRA, Redmine, etc). if your team don’t use it yet, better you raise this matter first.

On my experience, you can summarize and explain all your team situation within 1-2 minutes to your members.

Get the blocker issue

You already spent around 2 minutes, and there is 13 minutes left. To make it efficient, I usually don’t evaluate what is has been done. Rather, I focus on remaining works. I mean the remaining works is all the work that is being or will be doing at this time by the members. We can ignore the rest of the backlog and will focus on it later when it’s the time.

With assumptions that you have 9 development members as Scrum suggested, probably you will only have 2-3 stories to discuss. On my experience, it’s rarely to have more than that since some members will collaborate to work on single story nowadays. By doing so, we will have around 4-6 minutes for each story.

Usually, I will give priority for the task that seems hard to accomplish while this story has higher value for product.

Facilitating to re-plan team’s work

Now we know that we have around 4-6 minutes for each story, which I think it’s a plenty of time to know the situation. We can start to answer what problems do we have? On this state, I usually don’t have any difficulties to summarize problems we have. However, the most important question to ask after know the problem is what option or plan that we propose to do.

Don’t discuss, stop arguing!

By bringing a new plan or option to do, I always think that this is the tricky part will be. Sometimes, I experience the situation that one or two members will challenge the plan proposed by others. If you have this kind experience, you can start to moderate the discussion by asking “What better option or plan”?. By give this question, we will able to collect some plans or options and discuss it later as self-organize team.

If we can stop argue in this short meeting, the positive outcome is we allow the rest of members who have clear plan and don’t want to bound to further discussion can start work without waste their time. In the end, if we do it in the right way, all team members will know the situation, what problem and option that we might have without spend time over 15 minutes.

Author: Martinus Wahyudi

Live for years to deliver excellence IT solutions to improve client business, with over 8 years experience in various projects and software developments using several technologies that bring values to clients. I'm an avid learner also, which i always happy to try new things.

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