During a Sprint, the Scrum Team meets daily at a Scrum Meeting to provide status on progress.
When to Use Scrum Meetings
Scrum Meetings need to be daily activities (or sometimes even twice a day) during the Sprint. What time during the day is a decision that the Scrum Team can make.
The purpose of the Scrum Meeting is to provide status and to integrate the activities of the Scrum Team members.
- Meeting is held daily, at the same time and at the same place.
- Occasionally I have seen Scrum Teams that wanted to meet twice a day due to the speed at which work was progressing.
- Everyone on the team must attend.
- Product Owner normally attends to answer questions, not to report on status.
- The meeting is chaired and facilitated by the Scrum Master.
- The meeting is normally held near the Scrum Board, if the Scrum Board is maintained virtually, it is projects on a screen or monitor.
- Story Cards are moved to appropriate columns.
- Each Scrum Team member provides status on the Stories and tasks they are working on – every team member reports.
- Those that have met the “Demo Criteria” are moved to Done.
- Those that are started and in work are moved to WIP.
- My practice is that a Scrum Team member can only have 2 cards in the WIP column. They must complete the work the work of one of those cards before they start anything else.
- New Roadblocks are added.
- Roadblocks are external barriers that are impacting the work, not just that something is hard to do.
- Scrum Master provides the status of existing Roadblocks and removes those that are resolved.
- The meeting result should be an updated Scrum Board once all Scrum Team members and the Scrum Master have reported.
- Scrum Team members provide an estimate of how much work they have left to do on their cards that are in the WIP column.
- No debate, just provide the number.
- Number can be greater than the original value if a Scrum Team member has encountered a problem.
- Scrum Master adds up the remaining effort in the “Sprint Backlog” column and “WIP” column to determine the current value for the Burn-down Chart and plots it.
- A well run Scrum Meeting takes about 10 to 15 minutes depending upon the size of the Scrum Team.
Hints and Tips
- These meetings can become long and boring if you allow the Scrum Team members to talk about “how” or “what” they did. You just want status. Did it start? Did it finish? Are there Roadblocks?
- A technique that I like to use to keep people focused on the cards is to have the Scrum Master go to each card in the WIP list and ask the Scrum Team member, “Did you finish yet?” and if it is still in the WIP column, “Are there any Roadblocks?” That way the Scrum Master does not give up the control of the meeting. If Scrum Team members want to talk about how a particular Story or task was done, cover that at the end of the meeting.
- Once going down the WIP list, the Scrum Master should then ask each person which Stories or tasks they are working on, and if necessary move the card to the WIP column. Again, this keeps the Scrum Master in control and leads to a crisp focused meeting.
- The Scrum Master goes down the list of Roadblocks. If the resolution of a Roadblock is a long discussion, the Scrum Master should do that outside the meeting with the appropriate Scrum Team member.
- Don’t let a Product Owner turn the meeting into an impromptu Sprint Demo by asking about the result of each Story. The Product Owner should go to the Scrum Team member after the meeting if they have questions.
- If a person is on the same Story or task for 2 days in a row, or the estimated effort is burning upwards instead of downwards, the Scrum Master should probe for any roadblocks and the rest of the team should provide assistance to help the individual having problems with their Story – especially if it is now the highest priority item.
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