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Daily Scrum Meeting

A Daily Scrum Meeting is a meeting in which Sprint progress is explained, upcoming work is described and any issues are raised.   The whole Development Team meets every day and, if the team members are co-located, the team stands up during the meeting to keep the meeting short.  Each team member speaks to these five questions:

  1. What did I do since the last meeting?
  2. What am I going to do before the next meeting?
  3. What impediments are in my way?
  4. Do I have any tasks to add to the Sprint Backlog? (missed tasks, but not new requirements)
  5. Have I learned or decided anything new that is of relevance to some of the team members?

In order to keep team members focus on the Product Backlog Items (PBI) in the current Sprint, the following format can be used to respond to the above questions: ‘I am working on task AAA in supporting of PBI 123 …’ or ‘While working on task AAA of PBI 123, I have discovered new task BBB ….’. The Technical Program Manager records all raised impediments.  After the last person has spoken, the Technical Program Manager signals the end of the meeting.

Key Concepts:

  • Share Commitment.  Making daily commitments to each other as a team is the most important goal of the daily meeting.  Team members publicly commit to each other and identify obstacles that prevent them from meeting their commitments.
  • Communicate daily status, progress, and plans.   The focus of the Daily Scrum Meeting is for team members to update each other on the technical progress of their work.  Communication also reduces duplication of effort and improves understanding of interdependencies between team members.
  • Identify obstacles so that the team can take steps to remove them.  Raising and removing obstacles earlier allows the team to maintain its momentum.  The meeting itself is not intended to remove any particular obstacle but rather to provide a forum for team members to identify obstacles.
  • Set direction and focus.  During the Daily Scrum Meetings, the Technical Program Manager would remind team members to focus on the Backlog item priority.  This will help the team to move in the same direction.
  • Build a team.  Effective teams are built by regularly communicating, working, and helping each other.  The team is aware of any particular member’s problems because they hear about it every day (until the problem is resolved).  Team members help each other with shared obstacles.  This environment encourages people to raise problems.
  • Improve productivity.  Through peer pressure of having to stand in front of the team and say what you have been working on, productivity improves.

Daily Scrum Meeting Rules:

  • Hold the Daily Scrum in the same place and at the same timeevery work day. The best time for the meeting is first thing in the day so that Team members think about what they did the day before and what they plan to do today.
  • Start on time and keep to 15 minutes.  With all team members present, it’s an expensive meeting.  Some agile teams agree on a penalty for late arrival.  The project cannot afford to be regularly overrun.  It has to be brief and to the point.   With practice, the team should be able to keep it to 15 minutes, even with a large Scrum team, because the updates are little but often.
  • Time the meeting and publish the results of the meetings.
  • All team members are required to attend. It is not optional.  If for some reason a team member can’t attend in person, the absent member must either attend by telephone or by having another team member report on their status.
  • Team members must be prompt. The Technical Program Manager starts the meeting at the appointed time, regardless of who is present. Any team member who is late to the meeting will pay a fine to the ‘dollar jar for Sprint Celebration party’!
  • The Technical Program Manager begins the meeting by starting with the person immediately to his or her left and proceeding counter clockwise around the room until everyone has spoken.  The Technical Program Manager is responsible for moving the meeting along briskly from person to person.
  • If any issues are raised, or if anyone has any questions that need further discussion, they should raise them but refrain from discussing them in detail until after the Daily Scrum Meeting. Only those needed for the discussion can stay back to discuss together after the meeting is finished. Everyone else can get back to work.
  • Team members should address the team. This is not a “Reporting to the Technical Program Manager” meeting.
  • The Technical Program Manager is responsible for facilitating the Daily Scrum Meeting. Keep it focused, timely, and ‘on topic’.  A key part of the Technical Program Manager role is to protect the team and keep them focused on the assigned tasks.
  • The Technical Program Manager is responsible for removing impediments.  Impediments raised during the Daily Scrum Meeting can be noted in the Impediment Log.  Blockage Board is a publicly visible whiteboard that identifies raised obstacles and tracks the progress of their resolution. The Technical Program Manager does not have to solve all impediments personally. They can delegate.  They are responsible for ensuring the impediments are addressed and addressed quickly.
  • The Technical Program Manager is also responsible for logging all lessons learned that were reported by team members during the Daily Scrum Meeting and takes appropriate corrective actions.
  • During the meeting only one person talks at a time. Everyone else listens without any side conversations.
  • Non-team members are welcome to attend the Daily Scrum Meetings but they are not allowed to talk, make observations, make faces or otherwise make their presence in the meeting obtrusive.
  • Non-team members stand on the periphery of the team so as not to interfere with the meeting.
  • If too many non-team members attend the meeting, the Technical Program Manager can limit attendance so that the meeting can remain orderly and focused.
  • Meeting participants who cannot or will not conform to the above rules can be excluded from the meeting or removed from the team. Typical Daily Scrum Meetings has at most 10 people.
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