Scrum

Good Practices for Daily Stand-up Meeting

December 15, 2023
5 min
Good Practices for DSM
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Hello Developers and Scrum Masters, this article for you from the trenches. I am practicing scrum for over 5 years and learnt a bit that can be handy for you. 

As a developer, it is your primary responsibility to participate effectively in a Daily Scrum call. This document provides a quick overview and how to give your best in participation.

Daily Stand-up Meeting (DSM) Good Practices:

  • It is a 15-minute time-boxed event facilitated by the Scrum Master.
  • It is recommended to conduct it first thing in the morning, ensuring the availability of all participants.
  • This event is solely for discussing updates, resolving dependencies, blockers, and tracking progress.
  • Each developer has to come and answer only below 3 questions:

a. What did you do yesterday?

When you are answering this question, try to show and tell; otherwise, verbally, you can call out. Sometimes it is better to show the screen and tell; it means you should be ready with your screens that have been developed or APIs developed.

b. What will you do today?

When you are answering this question, Read out the task you are going to do and make sure it is in Jira,ADO (Azure DevOps dashboard) or any other agile management tool.

c. Are there any impediments or blockers?

When you are answering this question,your job is just to call out the list of impediments, dependencies or blockers you have, don’t try to solve it.

Scrum master needs to note down, and resolve those blockers in dependency/blocker discussion.

Tips for Scrum master to make the stand up effective

  • The team or customer may discuss other matters, potentially exceeding 15 minutes. The Scrum Master needs to keep the agenda focussed and allocate time at the end of the scrum call for such non-agenda (but useful for project) discussions.

Example: Tech Lead “why did you choose to implement this way instead of that way?”

Scrum master “Hey tech lead, this question is out of scope of this meeting, but it's important. I’ll allocate time at the end of the stand up and we can discuss it. Is that fine?”

  • The Scrum Master visually showcases updates to the team/customer/leadership using metrics like the burn-down chart and burn-up chart.
  • Set up a post-meeting session (Parking Lot Items Discussion) to address questions or topics requiring further discussion.
  • Assign tasks if not already assigned or if backlog tasks are completed.
  • Track dependencies and update their status, indicating whether they are resolved. If not, take necessary actions to mitigate them.

Video: How do we know that the team has adequate work allocated in this sprint?

“How is the project progressing?”

  • Show skin in the game:

Many scrum masters simply ask each team member to update and close the call. What about your own update? As SM, you can give your progress update for the previous day and tell what you plan to do for the next day. Also you can show your next steps, dependency tracker and call out what is closed. This gives the team confidence that you are also an equal team member and improves collaboration

  • Keep up the energy level:

If you make the scrum call just routine updates, it gets boring for the team. Use a loud energetic voice,  highlight whenever good collaboration happens. The team needs to feel the progress being made. 

  •  Walk the Scrum board from right to left, emphasizing tasks 'almost done' to build momentum.
  • Tackle obstacles, prioritize work items based on Burnup and Burndown charts, and agree on daily priorities to keep the project on track.
  • Maintain a positive and supportive team environment during standups, recognizing each person’s good work and by setting a positive tone for the day. 
  • Watch out for what is causing pressure or stress for an individual. Then do 1x1 meetings to alleviate the issue and help them perform better. Example - someone might find the Jira tool confusing. Doing a 1x1 walkthrough and hand holding once will be great.

After running 10 scrum meeting ask the team for the feedback using google form/Sample quiz and please find the sample google form survey template

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Common errors in DSM & tips for scrum master to avoid them:

  1. “People talk for a long time, and meetings extend beyond 15 minutes. Developers get bored, lose interest, and participation declines.”

How to Avoid: Limit updates to a maximum of 2 minutes. If further discussion is needed, request extra time at the end. The Scrum Master will close the Scrum call in 15 minutes and open a 'Parking Lot' meeting.

  1. “Design discussions and debates on the right solutions happen in DSM, which is not in the meeting agenda.”

How to Avoid:  set up separate sessions. For instance, in one project, where API clarifications were needed, "API clinic" meetings were held twice a week to address questions and resolve issues with the backend specialist.

  1. “People are hesitant to talk and come unprepared. Some do not update progress on Jira.”

How to Avoid: Address shyness by improving understanding of Scrum practices. For negligence in updating Jira or arriving late, conduct one-on-one sessions to highlight the importance and help overcome any obstacles.

  1. “Skipping the Daily Scrum on certain days, especially if the team thinks there's nothing new to update”

How to Avoid:   It's very important that the daily call is not skipped. The Scrum Master needs to explain the importance of daily communication and collaboration and articulate how the Daily Scrum is a daily commitment, providing an opportunity for quick course correction.

  1. “Not following the Three question format”

How to Avoid : :The Scrum Master needs to explain the importance of sticking to the three questions to maintain consistency and efficiency. And if there are any additional discussions, set up a separate call/discussion.

FAQs:

  1. What if a team member can't make the daily scrum?

If a team member can't make the daily scrum call, it's crucial for them to notify the team in advance. Consider having the absent team member provide a brief written update or delegate someone to stand in for them to share relevant information. Utilizing digital collaboration tools or recording the meeting (with consent) can enable the absent member to catch up later.

  1. How can remote team members effectively participate in daily scrum meetings?

Remote team members can participate in daily scrum meetings by using Zoom, Google meet or Microsoft Teams. Collaborative platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams can facilitate real-time updates and discussions, enabling team members to share progress and address concerns. Asynchronous communication tools like Trello or Jira allow remote members to update tasks ensuring continuous collaboration despite geographical distances.

  1. Should the Product Owner attend the daily scrum, and what is their role in the meeting?

Product Owner's optional attendance at the Daily Scrum, their involvement can be valuable. The Product Owner's role is to observe, listen, and provide clarifications if needed. They should avoid micromanaging the team and instead focus on sharing updates on the product backlog, changes in priorities, and seeking feedback to ensure alignment with the overall project goals.

  1. What's the difference between a daily scrum and a status meeting?

A daily scrum, in Agile, is a brief, time boxed event where team members discuss progress and impediments collaboratively. In contrast, a status meeting is typically more formal and involves team members providing individual updates to a manager or leader, often focusing on reporting their progress rather than fostering team collaboration

Helping you master Scrum in 60 Minutes:

Read about Scrum events here: https://www.scrum.org/resources/introduction-scrum-events  

Read the Agile Manifesto here: https://airfocus.com/glossary/what-is-agile-manifesto/

I am fully committed to excellence in Agile practices. Feel free to drop me an email at Niranjana@codewalnut.com, and we are happy to assist.

Author
Niranjana
Niranjana
Project Manager

Disclaimer: This article outline is created by Humans, content is written by AI and the final article is reviewed & edited by a CodeWalnut engineer.

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