6 tips to make your Daily Scrum Meetings become super effective
We cannot deny the benefits that Daily Scrum Meetings bring to businesses. However, not every business or team can fully harness those benefits. According to observations, many teams still struggle when applying this method, especially when they are gradually falling into a significant mistake, which is transforming the nature of these meetings into a model of meetings that don't add any value.
To avoid this situation and optimize the Scrum Meeting process, it is recommended that teams follow the tips below to improve the meeting process and maximize efficiency during meetings.
1. Try to conduct meetings for around 15 minutes
Meetings that stretch beyond 30 minutes tend to lose their positive impact. Participants become increasingly distracted and fatigued when lengthy conversations dominate the discussion. This turns Daily Scrum meetings into mere "meetings-meetings" and hinders effective direction setting.
Hence, Daily Scrum Meetings should concentrate solely on sharing critical information and minimize off-topic discussions, which can consume a significant amount of time.
2. Emphasize Sharing Current Progress:
Before commencing each Daily Scrum meeting, leaders must establish clear goals for the current progress to be achieved during these sessions. These goals, often referred to as Progress Goals, can encompass individual plans or specific objectives that add value to everyone. Their primary benefit lies in providing a reference point during the Daily Scrum, helping the team maintain focus, plan their day effectively, assess progress, and identify unnecessary discussions or tasks.
For instance: "To achieve our feature development target for this phase, I've allocated the workload appropriately among three team members. Mr. A has completed his task, Ms. B has finished her work but needs a thorough review, and Mr. C has achieved 90% completion. I will schedule time to review Ms. B's work and encourage Mr. C to complete his tasks by the end of the week."
3. Encourage Participation and Opinions:
This involves granting attendees of Daily Scrum Meetings the opportunity to voice their thoughts, opinions, and contributions related to these Progress Goals. Typically, participants listen more than they speak, often hesitating to offer suggestions or feedback. To overcome this, provide a "Signal" or designated moment when they feel it's their turn to share. This gesture can enhance their engagement and acknowledge their presence in the meeting. It consumes minimal time and allows a Scrum Master to identify excellent suggestions for productivity enhancement.
4. Maintain a Surprise Element in Speaker Selection:
It is common for participants to mentally disengage from the current speaker when they are aware that their turn is soon to come. It is best to allow the current speaker to choose the next speaker in Daily Scrum meetings in order to avoid this disengagement. It should be prohibited for individuals to select the person sitting next to them. Make it fun by assigning a "point loss" penalty to speakers who have already provided an update. If someone accumulates three points, you can add creative consequences, such as telling a joke or hosting the retrospective.
5. Limit Lengthy Rambling:
When individuals share excessive information, it often leads to discussions veering away from the meeting's intended objectives. This not only consumes time but also disrupts participants' concentration. To address rambling, establish a way to indicate when someone is going off track. For example, you can use a specific hand signal, a visual symbol like crossing your hands to form an "X," or simply shaking your head to signal when information has become tangential.
6. Update Your Sprint Plan, but Don't Get Too Caught Up in Numbers
It's a good idea for many teams to keep their sprint plan up to date. It helps them see how they're doing with the tasks they've planned for the sprint. But, be careful not to make the daily scrum meeting all about numbers. Here's what can happen: Imagine a team member says, "I have three hours left on this task, and I think I'll finish it today." Then, the discussion shifts to that three-hour estimate. Some team members might question if it should be more or less time. This can also happen if the Scrum Master asks for clarification to update a tool they use to track the sprint. The team member has to explain which task in the tool they mean and confirm that three hours is the correct new estimate. When this happens, the meeting starts talking more about the numbers than the actual work.
To see more about things to avoid when conducting Daily Scrum Meetings, read this!
The six tips mentioned earlier can be valuable for your company or teams in enhancing meeting efficiency.
ITC Group is a software development company firmly dedicated to adopting the Daily Scrum Meeting Approach. This commitment ensures that we maintain regular updates on work progress and provide comprehensive reports. This approach helps us stay informed about each department's current status and guarantees that we consistently meet client project deadlines. If you require assistance in making your daily scrum or any aspect of your day, sprint, or project more effective, we are here to assist. Please feel free to reach out to us to discover how we can help.