Monday, 15 December 2014

The scrum meeting - some quick tips.

The scrum meeting is the key meeting in agile - it promotes communication and resolving issues and is very effective. Everyone does the scrum meeting slightly differently but the basic principle is that each team member answers the following three questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you working on today?
  3. Are there any blocks or impediments in your way? 
This is a very simple format which works great. However, it's important that you experiment with your team to get a system which works best for you. I find that I typically make the following tweaks with my teams:

  • I only run them every other day rather than every day - so Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allows for work from home days (which I standardize as Tuesday or Thursday) to get maximum time in the office together. Daily scrums tend to feel like too much. 
  • The time for the scrum is the same every time - and it's first thing in the morning! Nobody like the morning, but I find it helps the team get focused on their tasks for the day ahead. 
  • As scrum-master I start the meeting outlining the teams short term objectives (what are we aiming for this sprint). I find this really focuses the team. 
  • Keep it short. Depending on team size (my teams range from 6-12 people usually) this should be at most 15 mins, but can be completed in under ten minutes. 
Please experiment and ask your team their preferences. If the team contribute to the processes the team undertake then they will buy into what you are trying to achieve. Empowerment is key! 


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