All about Daily Scrum. What is a Daily Scrum?


Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-up or Daily Stand-up Meeting is a regular event conducted in development teams to synchronise activities and plan for the next working day. During a Sprint the Scrum Team holds a Daily Scrum that's a maximum of 15 minutes in duration. The Daily Scrum looks to coordinate the present days Sprint activities, while also providing a daily status check to ensure that the Scrum Team is on target to achieve its Sprint Goals. The meeting also assists with identifying any impediments that will be preventing the Scrum Team from achieving their Sprint Goals.

Daily Scrums have additional benefits as well:

  • Start the scrum meeting on time

As stated above, the daily stand up should be a short, concentrated meeting. If the session is only 15 minutes long, and you begin 5 minutes late, then you’ve added 33% more time to the meeting. And if the meeting is only 10 minutes long, and you begin 5 minutes late, you’ve added 50% more time! Starting late sets the incorrect tone for the meeting. You want to point out that you respect the team’s time, and they also should respect one another’s time by being punctual. Agile takes discipline. Pay attention to the small things. These can make a big difference within the message you send about how you expect to perform.

  • Be Consistent

The Daily Scrum should begin at the same time, in the same place every day. to keep the stand-up brief and on target, eliminate interruptions and endways time. Maintaining discipline about the meeting details makes an efficient routine. Our team knows exactly what to expect each day and how they must prepare. Consistency also develops accountability and visibility of critical issues that arise, as team members know they will present their progress daily.

  • No Multitasking

Seriously. For a few reason, this is a tough one. The daily scrum meeting could be a communication vehicle for all team members. The intent isn’t for every team member to communicate with the scrum master, but rather with each other. Therefore, everyone needs to concentrate. I have seen team members bring laptops in and work during the daily scrum meeting. Don’t do it. If I’m reading a text from Jill in marketing, and Sarah shares that she’s having a problem, I’ll miss a critical piece of information. Plus, it’s disrespectful. Sarah – and everybody else – can see me reading my text. Again – concentrate to these little things.

  • Every Team Member Answers These 3 Questions:

What did you do yesterday? The Scrum Master should make sure work is staying focused on the backlog. If the team is spending valuable time on items outside the backlog, then progress isn't moving towards the Sprint Goal. The goal is to reduce the work-in-progress, not create additional work. The Scrum Master should also check for any obstacles that require to be addressed immediately.

What will you do today? As team members are answering this question, the Scrum Master ensures that tasks are closing and new ones are beginning. Team members should challenge each other to prioritize the foremost critical work and swarm as necessary on blocks and challenges to finish stories and clear dependencies.

What is blocking progress? The team should identify any blockers, adopt a plan to clear them, and believe the Scrum Master to communicate relevant issues externally. Given the short time-frame of a Sprint, it’s important that blockers are addressed in a timely manner before they impact development progress.

  • Remain Standing

When the team remains standing it reminds them that this is not a daily status meeting. It keeps everyone focused, and the meeting runs more rapidly. People are more know that the meeting should be short if they don’t get comfortably seated. I have known teams to carry meetings in areas where there have been no chairs to remove the temptation to sit. If you're in an area with chairs, set an agreement among all participants that you’ll stand.

  • The Product Owner Attends

The Scrum Product Owner is a full team member. He or she is responsible for gathering needs, managing and prioritizing the backlog, accepting finished software, and providing domain expertise. The Product Owner also represents the product's stakeholders and the voice of the customer. Therefore, he or she needs to attend the Daily Scrum to stay updated on the development team’s progress and ensure they are staying on the path towards the overall product goal. He or she also must be there to ensure the needs of any external stakeholders are being communicated and met by the development team.

  • Have the scrum meeting at the same time every day

By meeting at the equivalent time, your team gets into a regular cadence. It becomes standard practice for your team. If you select to have the meeting early in the day, team members can determine what they’ll focus on for the day.

  • Leverage the Burn down Chart to Avoid Lags

A burn down chart visualizes how rapidly your scrum team is burning through your customer's user stories. A burn down chart is a graphical representation of work left to do opposite time. Teams should refer to the burn down chart during the Daily Scrum to ensure they are staying on schedule or identify if they are lagging.

  • Discuss “Pop Up” problems after the Daily Scrum

Important decisions and problems that pop up during the Daily Scrum should be placed in a “parking lot” for the relevant team members to revisit after the meeting. Remember tip #1 is to remain consistent, which includes closing on time. There will be problems or decisions that require further discussion among team members immediately. Save these pop-up problems for separate, more in-depth meetings. Treat the Daily Scrum as a vocal status report, not a problem-solving session.

  • Strive for Continuous Improvement

Conducting a daily scrum meeting takes discipline. Team members can get careless and start to run the meetings less efficiently. And even if you’re doing well, there are always opportunities to improve. Get buy-in and agreement from the group that you’ll regularly assess how to improve. Identify the cadence or milestones that trigger a group self-assessment. If you’re running two-week sprints, conduct a retrospective at the end of each sprint.

Take Away

The Daily Scrum is a highly useful tool in agile software development if properly utilized. These Ten tips will help you optimize your Daily Scrum stand-ups, drive your team towards your Sprint Goal, and get your product to market faster. And once other teams find out how well yours are run, share your secrets with them, too!



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