The Daily Scrum Meeting is a daily meeting of about 15 minutes duration of the scrum team. The purpose of this daily meeting is to synchronize the tasks of the team towards the sprint goal and adapt the sprint backlog as needed.
Daily Scrum Meetings should not be used to solve specific problems, as this would lengthen the meeting time, but can be used to discuss them and then deal with them externally with the corresponding group.
It is part of the 5 Scrum events and has a limited duration, a maximum of 15 minutes, whenever it can be less, the better and it is recommended that it always takes place at the same time and in the same place to reduce difficulties and speed up the work. It takes place in the morning, preferably early in the morning in order to set the context for the rest of the working day.
Who attends the Daily Scrum Meetings?
The Daily Scrum Meeting is attended by the development team, who are in charge of the Sprint Backlog, although if the Product Owner or Scrum Master is working on elements of the Sprint Backlog they can participate but as developers.
The Scrum Master can also attend to ensure that the entire development team participates and that the meeting lasts for the full 15 minutes.
Although the Daily is an exclusive meeting for the work team, external people can attend, always by invitation, but they cannot participate actively in order not to influence the development.
Daily Scrum Meetings held in the physical office should always be held in the same place, where the Scrum board is located.
But due to the increase in teleworking, there are now several online tools, such as ServiceTonic’s collaborative tool, ForumTonic, that allow team members to meet in different locations and connect all at the same time and place. There are also online Scrum softwares that allow the sharing of dashboards among team members, so that the development of Daily Scrum is just as effective as the one developed in the physical office.
The 3 questions to ask on the Daily
During the Daily Scrum Meeting each member of the development team must expose 3 aspects:
- What did I do yesterday to achieve the Sprint Goal?
- What am I going to do today to help the team achieve the Sprint Goal?
- Have I identified any impediments that are preventing me or my team from achieving the Sprint Goal?
These 3 questions are the usual questions that should be asked during the Daily Scrum, although the attendees can conduct the meeting in different ways, and always oriented to reach the Sprint Goal.
Benefits of the Daily Scrum Meeting
There are several benefits of the Daily Scrum Meeting, the most outstanding are:
- Increased productivity and team commitment: thanks to these daily meetings, team members know at all times the status of the tasks, this allows them to take action if they realize that the Sprint Goal is not reached
- Improved communication: daily meetings allow to streamline communication between team members, they synchronize their tasks on a daily basis and can help each other if necessary
- Avoid unnecessary and long meetings: when tasks are shared on a daily basis, meetings that do not contribute anything and slow down productivity are avoided
- Identify problems: impediments to achieving the Sprint Goal are identified, which allows taking measures and solving them
- Promotes rapid decision making: daily communication between team members allows immediate decisions to be made, thus solving tasks that might otherwise get bogged down in time.
Daily Scrum Meeting Best Practices
Summarizing what has been explained so far, it is recommended to follow the following guidelines for the Daily Scrum Meeting to be effective:
- Meetings should last a maximum of 15 minutes
- They should be held daily in the same place, in case they are in the physical office. If the Daily Scrum Meeting is held online, the team members must have software that allows them to communicate with each other at the same time
- There should be a Scrum board where tasks are ordered and cards are assigned to team members
- When the team works remotely, there should be a Scrum software that emulates the physical board
- It is advisable that meetings are held standing up to avoid settling in and lengthening the daily schedule
What not to do
Just as there are best practice recommendations for the Daily Scrum Meeting, there are actions that should not be done during the meeting:
- The Scrum Master should not assign the tasks: when this happens, the self-organization of the team members is not encouraged. In addition, if one of the team members finishes his task and the Scrum Master is not present, the team is left in a dead time in which he cannot make progress on anything
- The order of the Sprint Backlog is not taken into consideration: if there is no classification, when a team member finishes his task, he will not know what to do next, preventing the project from moving forward
- Waiting for the Scrum Master to attend: as previously mentioned, the role of the Scrum Master is only as a listener, he does not actively participate in the Daily Scrum Meeting, it is the task of the development team to carry it out
More information on what a Daily Scrum is at Scrum.org