Standups are necessary. There is no doubt about that. Especially since we are coming out of the pandemic with a lot of people longing to meet their co-workers after such a long time, scrum meetings can help to put a lot of dependent tasks, back on track.
But if we set aside the social need of these 15-minute meetups every day, scrum standups are critically important because they are a powerful tool for collaborative productivity among the different team members of a company.
But also for some of the other professionals out there, daily scrums can be a hassle that they have to endure every single day, and they always want them to end.
Nevertheless, daily standups are everywhere in the Agile world.
But why is that? What is discussed in these meetings that are so essential for increased productivity and improved collaboration?
If this is your first time hearing about scrum standups then you are in for a treat because, in this article, we are going to discuss it all. Let’s start with the basic concept of scrum standups and describe what they are.
Daily Scrum Standup Meeting
The term speaks for itself as it is a gathering of all of the team members that are working on a particular segment of the software or are involved in the whole project development process.
In the meeting, every single member of the team is standing which means that the meeting is a short one and it is held to catch up on all of the events that have happened regarding the project development process in the last 24 hours.
These events that happen can be status updates from all of the different team members, the project leaders can set priorities for the team members so that they would know what they have to do first, and also the whole gang can discuss the possible obstacles that can hinder their progress and how they can get rid of them.
All in all, the meeting is fun but also quite important.
The main idea of a standup meeting was to get rid of the long meetings that a company might have and replace them with short meetings that will keep the team members on their heels and also help to keep the meeting agenda to the point.
So, here are the two elements of a basic standup meeting that you should know about.
- Duration: About 15 minutes or less
- Participants: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Scrum team working on the project development process
Benefits of Daily Scrum
- The daily scrum standups help the team members in sharing the work that they performed as part of the project development process which helps improve the team cohesion and also keeps everyone in the loop about everything that is being done by their colleagues
- The scrum standup meeting helps to prevent a failure mode of teams so that the team members are not discouraged and everything is laid out for them to understand and perform
- The daily scrum standups help teams to synchronize all of their work activities that they are performing as part of the project development process and adapt a daily plan and Sprint backlog so that everything is accounted for and nothing goes missing
- These meeting also helps the project managers to track the progress that their team members are making and also help them to update the Burndown chart
- These meetings are just more feasible and enjoyable to attend because you don’t have to sit for hours and hours until your manager is done talking and you can finally go do the work that you were supposed to do a couple of hours ago
Possible Pitfalls of Scrum Standups
- One of the most common mistakes that the project managers in the agile world make is turning the daily scrum into a status report that has to be submitted daily. This is not the correct procedure and every exchange of information that happens within the meeting should be based on peer-to-peer interaction.
- Another thing that is done wrong is extending the time of the daily scrum. One of the core features of this meeting is that it is going to be 15 minutes long, and if you go beyond that even from 10 to 15 minutes, you are killing the essence of the whole meeting.
- Often the team members are on the wrong side and they skip meetings or they only have them if the scrum master is available. This is wrong as the daily standup should go whether the scrum master takes the initiative or not.
Best Practices of Daily Scrum Standups
Here are some of the best practices of scrum standards that you are your team need to follow so that they can be as productive and effective as they were meant to be.
- The scrum master or the facilitator of the meeting should be vigilant at all times and they should keep an eye out on any lengthy discussions that may start to happen between the team members. If they see a discussion that they know is going to be lengthy, then they need to step in and propose to the team members that they should continue it after the meeting.
- If the facilitator sees a team member who is constantly talking about how they debugged this and how they fixed that, not to teach their peers, but to brag about their work, then they should step in and stop that team member, and tell them to keep their update concise.
- If the facilitator sees a team member asking for help about a specific issue or problem that they might be having as part of their work regarding the project development process, then they should propose solutions or help of any sort to them to fix that issue.
- The daily standup is an internal meeting, but if for some reason there are other people in attendance, then it is the job of the facilitator to warn them that they are not to disrupt the meeting process and should act only as silent spectators.
- As a facilitator, you need to make sure that you organize the meeting when your team members are the most energized. Typically the meeting is held in the morning when the members are fresh, but it’s up to you to pick the time when your team is most efficient.
Rules and Guidelines of Scrum Standups
Here are the rules and guidelines that are followed by agile teams all over the world for their scrum standups.
- The meeting should be short (only 15 minutes)
- The event is held with the whole team standing up and this rule should be followed at all times because without this the whole concept of a “standup” meeting is lost
- Every participant should take no more than 2-3 minutes to answer
- The meeting should not be postponed if a team member is late or is not coming to the office that day
- The meeting should be held at the start of a working day at the same time and place so that the team members are fresh and energetic and the scrum meeting is concluded quickly with little to no obstacles at all
- The meeting should be facilitated by the Scrum Master to make sure that an authority figure is present to handle all disputes and problems being discussed in the meeting
- Each team member is expected to answer three questions that the scrum master is going to ask them as part of the whole scrum standup exercise
- You can meet exactly where the team usually works and there shouldn’t be any useless parade to find a separate place for the meeting
- All team members should attend
This was our guide on scrum standups and how they can be made more effective in 2022. If you think that we failed to mention some important information about scrum standups then write to us and we will review it ASAP.