Everything You Need to Know About the Daily Scrum Meeting

• Agile

The daily scrum is a brief meeting session, typically held every day, where the scrum team reviews their progress towards their target, as well as positions themselves to deliver the tasks of the new duration. Just like the huddle in team sports, the daily scrum, also known as stand-up meeting, is supposed to keep everyone informed and connected.

Learn more about the daily scrum, how it works, and how it fits into your team’s success when working with Scrum.

What is the purpose of Daily Scrum Meeting?

The daily sharing of individual progress and blockers helps everyone see the big picture and how their contribution plays a critical role.

The aim of the daily scrum is to:

  • Provide a clear breakdown of the work the scrum team has carried out
  • Track how fast the team as a whole and individual members are working
  • Clear out obstacles to the work that’ll be carried out that day
  • Schedule tasks to be carried out quickly—all in 15 minutes daily

Who attends the daily scrum meeting?

The daily scrum meeting is an essential part of the scrum team’s push towards their target, and therefore, everyone must attend.

This includes:

1. The Scrum Master

As the head of the scrum team, the scrum master takes responsibility for convening the daily scrum meeting every day, ensuring all team members are in attendance, and piloting the daily scrum from start to finish.

The scrum master ensures the scrum meeting doesn’t deviate from its essence and takes notes of all blockers facing the team members in order to get them out of the way.

2. Scrum Team Members

In our context, this refers to the experts that make up the scrum team and carry out the tasks that move the project forward.
The team members must be in attendance to document their progress, commit to the work they’ll deliver in the upcoming duration (for the day), and point out any blockers facing them.

3. The Product Owner

While not a core member of the scrum team, the product owner could also be in attendance, helping the scrum team navigate the backlog items they’ve chosen to work on, as well as helping with prioritizing tasks as they’re needed.

Apart from the core scrum team, other loosely related members within the organization can join the daily scrum—granted that they don’t get to say much or anything at all. The idea is to ensure that only those who’re directly involved in the ongoing sprint get a say at the daily scrum since they’re better informed to deliver information that helps all other team members.

What should you discuss?

A daily scrum meeting is a tell-all session where members of the scrum team open up to what they’ve achieved, and what they intend to work on. This makes it easy for the team to create a picture of how fast and well the project is progressing.

Here are the questions you need to ask to bring about that openness.

1. What did you achieve yesterday?

The aim here is to get an update on the team’s progress. This sets the stage with a can-do-it mental outlook that’ll help the team achieve even more in the upcoming duration.

2. What will you do today?

The aim of this question is to get an idea of where the project is headed from the combined effort of the members and to see if everyone is working in sync to move the project from to-do to done.

3. Are there any obstacles in your way?

Anticipating obstacles goes beyond just solving problems that have popped up which may hinder members of the team from doing their best work. Here, the scrum team members must identify any project management tools they need to do their best work so the scrum master can provide them.

Things to avoid in daily scrum meetings

The daily scrum meeting is a great avenue to bring the entire team together, get everyone refocused on the bigger picture, and quickly ensure all members of the team have all they need to get their best work done.

But that’s if it’s done correctly.

A slight deviation could change the pace of your daily scrum meeting and even hinder you from meeting your scrum targets.

Here are some of those hindrances to avoid.

1. It’s not an update session

An update session is a meeting where a team lead engages every team member to know how far they’re at with their work. Of course, a daily scrum will definitely bring up some idea of where each team member is at on their assigned tasks but must be deliberately limited not to focus 100 percent on that.

Ideally, a daily should be a commitment session where team members give a breakdown of what they’ve done and what they’re committing to do. But not a full-on status update meeting where the project progress is tracked from A – Z.

2. It isn’t for problem-solving

While project blockers can be identified and are typically collected by the scrum master so they can be resolved, the daily scrum isn’t the place for the resolution part of it.

The scrum master should take details of any issues brought up and then meet up with the team member who brought them up to work out a solution.

3. It shouldn’t be long

Another name for the daily scrum is a standup. Standup meetings are when all attendees stand during the course of the entire meeting. That way, it’s harder to lose focus and talk on and on about the finer details. Ensure you keep your daily scrum meetings short and straight to the point. This way, everyone on the team stays in sync and gets to work with minimal disruption, without having to waste time talking.

Difference between daily scrum, sprint review and sprint retrospective meetings

One significant feature of managing projects with Scrum is that you get to hold more meetings than with other project management frameworks.

Daily scrums, sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives are the main ones.

Now, while they might seem similar, in function, they’re quite different.

First, the daily scrum is a daily meeting where scrum team members update everyone else on their progress and point out any blockers that may hold them back from achieving their targets for the day. The daily scrum is deliberately kept brief so everyone can get to work straight away.

The sprint review, on the other hand, works like a testing session where the work the scrum team has delivered for the sprint is demoed and tested out to see if it meets the target it’s designed to.

Finally, the sprint retrospective is where the scrum team gets together to analyze what went well, what didn’t, and what could be improved to get better results.

Closing thoughts

The daily scrum is crucial for knowledge sharing when your managing projects with Scrum since it helps:

  • Update every team member on their progress as a whole
  • Get project blockers resolved with zero friction

By having smarter daily scrum meetings, you will not only run through sprints faster and more efficiently, you’ll hit your project targets on time and under budget.