The purpose of the daily Scrum meeting is for a project development team to get together at the same time each working day for a timeboxed fifteen-minute status meeting. All members of the Scrum team should attend and if any member can not, another team member should give the missing person’s report.
The Scrum Master should also attend. His main purpose at the daily Scrum meeting is to move along the reporting of the team members and to control the meeting.
Starting at the Scrum Master’s left or right and going around the table each team member gives his or her oral report. Each team members report should answer three questions only:
- What have I accomplished since the last daily Scrum meeting.
- Did anything hold me back? If so, what.
- What do I plan to accomplish today or before the next daily Scrum meeting?
At the daily Scrum meeting there are no in-depth discussions of problems, but any team member with problems, or questions, or helpful ideas for other team members, can immediately request involved team members get together after the fifteen-minute daily Scrum to set up another meeting to discuss things in depth.
The only talking done at the daily Scrum is by the team members and the Scrum Master. Any observers in the meeting are just that. They are not supposed to say or do anything; just listen. For any observers not following the rules the Scrum Master has the authority to remove them from the meeting.
Scrum Master's Role
Successful Scrum meetings rely heavily on the skills of the Scrum Master. Where project managers were traditionally problem solvers for any team member with problems, a Scrum Master requires the team as a whole to solve any problems individual members may have. The old adage of “two heads are better than one” applies. This is not to say a Scrum Master should do nothing to help.
A good one will do coaching or make suggestions of sources team members can go to for help in solving their problems. The Scrum Master's goal is to always get the team to identify its problems and to solve them together as a team. He is not interested in looking good himself but to make the team look good. Experience has shown that as a team gels and starts making accomplishments on its own, productivity, confidence, and morale all increase in the team members. They begin to identify with the project as their own.
For a team to be successful, it is important for the Scrum Master to protect them from any outside interference that hinders the team from completing its tasks. For example, users should not be allowed to approach team members directly asking or telling them to reprioritize, change, or delete sprint tasks. If this happens, the daily Scrum meeting is a good time to bring this up. The Scrum Master will then step in as it is his or her job to protect the team.
Establishing Consistency and Solving Team Mobility Issues
Because the daily Scrum meeting is held daily at the same time, this can be a big problem if individual team members are working in different locations and in different time zones. The ideal situation is to have all team members meet face to face daily at the same time. If this is impossible the next best situation is to have all team members get together at the same time daily via phone. This approach is close to meeting face to face, but it can be very inconvenient for some team members. A nine a.m. meeting in San Francisco would be fine for team members located there but not for other people located say in India where it might be nine p.m. If all team members are located in the United States the phone approach should be no problem. When a team is scattered internationally, the phone approach is probably not sustainable.
If the phone call approach is not practical, the daily scrum could be done in written form using computer means such as e-mail. Each team member could send an e-mail to each team member on a daily basis updating what he or she accomplished and what problems occurred. The problem here is that issues are not discussed, team members are less likely to be held accountable, and there is no guarantee the e-mail will be read. Face to face you know the other people heard you.
A possible solution to the all writing approach is to have a mixture of the two. A variation might be to have a daily phone call at a time that is convenient to most members on a team and then have the other members submit a written report. The point is that it is important to have a daily Scrum meeting. By using ingenuity, you should be able to accomplish it.
Agile Methodology that Works Best for Your Organization's Needs
While Scrum framework, one of the popular Agile frameworks, has been adapted by many organizations, there are other Agile methodologies that have been proven to be the right choice for other companies.
Our comprehensive Agile knowledge library will guide you through various Agile frameworks and Agile Project Management practices to choose the right process that will adapt to your organization's needs.
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