What is Daily Scrum?
Daily Scrum is a meeting held daily to give the team a chance to review goals and identify any potential concerns or roadblocks. As described in the Scrum Guide, its purpose is to progress towards the Sprint Goal and adapt the plan towards this goal where necessary. The plan is often referred to as the Sprint Backlog.
The Daily Scrum is usually a 15-minute meeting held at the same location and time each day. Ideally, it is held in the morning as it will help to create context for the coming day’s work.
It is sometimes also called the Daily Stand Up because the meeting is usually held literally standing up. This is to help ensure the meeting is short and to the point.
Let’s take a look in more detail at how this daily meeting is used and the value that it can bring to teams.
Purpose of Daily Scrum Meetings
The Daily Scrum provides a valuable opportunity for the team to keep each other up to date without spending a lot of time in meetings or creating reports. Daily Scrum is kept concise and relevant thanks to only being maximum 15 minutes long.
The main purpose of the Daily Stand Up is to ask these three questions:
- What have I achieved since yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What are the obstacles in my way?
By focusing on these questions daily, the team gains an understanding of what work has been done and what work remains. In doing so, it helps to prevent any bottlenecks which might arise and enables the Sprint to stay on track of the Sprint Goal.
The Daily Scrum meeting is not a status update meeting but is rather a meeting where the team members can make commitments to each other. This has an excellent impact on helping the team to recognise the significance of the tasks and remain accountable.
Daily Scrum Attendees & Best Practices
The Scrum Master, The Product Owner and the Development team should all attend the meeting.
The development team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum and running the discussions involved. The Scrum Master should guide the team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time box.
It can be useful to consider some best practices to ensure the Daily Scrum maintains momentum and the team doesn’t fatigue from having it each day. Here are a few suggestions to run a better meeting:
Keep meetings on target
Keeping discussions focused on the three questions “what have I achieved since yesterday?”, “what will I do today?” and “what are the obstacles in my way?” is important. This helps to provide direction to the team and prevents them from deviating from the point of the meeting.
Use a Scrum Board
A Scrum Board is a simple way to visualise project tasks and their progress. The team can see at a glance what work has been done and what is left to be completed and the board can therefore guide the meeting. You can read more about Scrum Boards here.
Team members should be prepared ahead of time
The team should be prepared to answer the three key questions in the meeting ahead of time and without prompting. This will also help the meeting remain within the allocated 15 minutes.
Have rules about who speaks when
Only one person should be speaking at a time. This might sound obvious but ensuring each team member has the opportunity to speak and isn’t interrupted when doing so should also be a focus. This can help motivation and also with the tight time constraints.
Summary of Daily Scrum
The Daily Scrum meeting is an effective way to ensure the Scrum Team is aligned. It helps to improve understanding of shared goals, communication, decision making and eliminates the need for other meetings. It is, therefore, a good idea to ensure this short, yet important meeting is not skipped, and the team utilises this time effectively.