Anyone who has been part of a Scrum team knows the importance of the Daily Stand-up, the 15 minute meeting that is held at the end of each day. This is a vital part of the Scrum process- as everyone gets updated on information that is needed for coordination. During this meeting, each team member briefly shares what they have completed, and describes any obstacles they have faced the previous day. A Daily Stand-up promotes transparency and teamwork, smoothens work processes and helps to minimize problems.
While this meeting is of critical importance to successful sprint outcomes, here are some things that you MUST keep in mind:
Timebox your meeting duration! Without a specific timebox in place, a Daily Scrum meeting can drag on and actually waste the time of the team. A typical daily meeting should get over in 15 minutes- but larger teams could agree upon a longer duration. The idea is to stop when that time runs out, and keep all discussions short and to the point.
Don’t hide issues. If there are any issues with the work that you are doing, please make sure that you mention them. Nothing is more annoying than an ongoing problem which comes to light only toward the end of the sprint. If shared at the outset, problems can be tackled and solved by the team.
Don’t postpone a meeting. Daily interaction lays the foundation for a successful Scrum team. If meetings are postponed, project completion may just get postponed too. Ideally, the meeting should happen at the same time each day. Meetings that are held in the morning, for instance, could set the mood for the work that has to be done during the day.
Start the meeting on time: Ensure that the Stand-up starts on time, even if some development team members are missing. A delay of even five minutes, when multiplied by the number of team members, counts for a lot of potential work wasted.
Peer to peer interaction. All interactions should be on a peer-to-peer basis, and not in the form of a status report made to the Scrum Master. Teamwork is always emphasized in Scrum, and the team should communicate well with each other.
Questions asked and answered: There are three questions that are sought to be asked and answered by each team member. What did you complete yesterday? What will you do today? Did you find any impediments in your way? Answers should be concise and precise.
Stay focussed: The Scrum Master must keep the team focussed on answering the three questions, and not straying into a random discussion on, say, a particular issue that has been raised by a member. This can remove the focus for the entire team, and will result in the time limit getting out of hand.
A Scrum team that works well together, and understands the principles of Agile in a deeper context, can achieve unprecedented and outstanding results. Make sure your Scrum team follows these simple principles and stays on track!