What is a daily scrum meeting?
Daily scrum meetings, also known as stand-up meetings, usually take place every morning before the workday starts. It’s a short team-meeting / status-check where each team member is expected to actively participate, and ideally lasts no more than 15 minutes. The team selects one “Scrum Master”, who (often the same person as the team leader or the project manager), to record the issues and concerns discussed.
Since scrum meetings are usually short and quick, any issues or concerns that could take time to address are recorded by the scrum master in the meeting and will be dealt with later during working hours.
In a standard, daily scrum meeting, each member is expected to give a quick answer to these three following questions:
- What I’ve done yesterday
- What I’m going to do today
- If there is anything blocking my work
The goal of the scrum meeting is for the team as a whole to understand the current status of the project and the possible obstacles ahead. To do this, each participant must answer those three questions.
Tips to optimize your daily scrum meetings
Make it a habit
It’s best to conduct your scrum meetings at the same time and place every time, so that they don’t have to check the time and location every time and get familiar with the style.
It will become an important daily ritual for everyone to see familiar faces in the morning and by doing it everyday, you can recognize small changes that you might not otherwise.
Stand and face the team
There is a good reason why scrum meetings are also called stand-up meetings: they are not just the content. Being actively present is what makes a scrum meeting so unique and standing is a major contributor to this because it:
- makes it easy for people to face each other without having to move their desks or chairs
- keeps the meeting focused and quick (because you can’t do other stuff with things on your desk)
Keep it short and concise
The spirit of a scrum meeting is in its short time-limit and brief discussion. It’s not always easy to interrupt someone who’s speaking, but, if their conversation is not adding value, the scrum leader needs to cut in. There is always time for more detailed conversations or casual chats after the meeting, and if not, following up on a specific topic or agenda in Slack or another text-based communication tool is also an option.
It’s best when all participants understand what should be discussed during scrum meetings.
Come prepared to hammer the point
In scrum meetings, every minute counts, so all team members should come prepared. A couple of minutes of preparation before the meeting will make a huge difference in keeping things short and concise. Each member should cut to the chase and be strictly limited to what was done yesterday, what to do today, and the obstacles (if any) you are facing.
Keep it casual and fun
Unlike the usual, lengthy meeting with all its formalities and time-wasters, scrum meetings often start in a fun or unique way with motivational quotes, work-referenced jokes, or even games to decide who speaks first. These approaches keep everyone interested and engaged while also offering everyone a fair chance to speak.
When done right, the daily scrum meeting will add tremendous value to your team’s performance and will help you achieve everyday professional goals in a fun and more efficient manner.