Good teamwork and communication are key strengths of the Scrum framework. Scrum defines a series of meeting events to help manage the Sprints as projects progress. Each Sprint will be preceded by a planning meeting and followed by important Sprint Retrospective and Sprint Review meetings.
These meetings guide the direction of the project and define what should be completed in each Scrum Sprint. Shorter, daily meetings are key though to good communication and continual progress of each Sprint.
Achieving the Sprint Goal
The purpose of the Daily Scrum meeting is to review progress and deal with problems. It is a short meeting that takes place each day between the main team members.
Progress is reviewed against the Sprint Backlog and the Sprint Goal. These are defined at the start of each Sprint, usually as part of the Sprint Planning session. The Sprint Backlog contains all the items that the team should be working on in that Sprint – agreed by the team based on priority and capacity.
The meeting should focus on these Sprint Backlog items and address any changes or re-prioritization necessary. Anything that could impede achieving the Sprint Goal should be raised in the meeting.
Key to the Scrum Framework
The Daily Scrum meeting involves many of the key elements of the Scrum framework. It promotes good team communication with all members involved. It also addresses flexibility and adaption – key concepts in Agility and Scrum.
By adjusting and re-prioritizing in a regular way, the chance of not meeting the Sprint Goal is much reduced. Less time is wasted, too, with issues being raised each day rather than left until they are noticed or brought up. Having one fixed meeting like this is much more efficient than trying to set up several smaller group meetings throughout the working day – although, of course, such meetings can also take place if needed.
Who Should Attend the Daily Scrum?
The Daily Scrum meeting is intended to be a focussed and efficient meeting – not a drag on the day’s activities. It should be attended by key developers or team members only. It is not a status meeting, and the Product Owner or project stakeholders should not be involved.
The Scrum Master has a role to play in assisting team members in setting up and conducting the meeting properly but is not involved in content discussions.
It should also be a quick meeting – around 15 minutes. To keep it simple, it is usual to hold the meeting at the same time and place each day. Team members can, of course, discuss issues further after the meeting – the point of the Daily Scrum is to raise and realize them.