“Wait, there’s a meeting every day?” That was the question I was interrupted with while explaining the rhythm of Scrum to a new team. This concern is both familiar and understandable. Ask almost anyone if they want more meetings, and their answer is a clear “no.”
You may be asking why Scrum has all these meetings and do we really need them all?
Those are great questions to dive into. In this post, I’m focusing on the Daily Scrum, also called the Daily Standup. It’s one of the first meetings new teams ask about because it happens every day.
The Daily Standup is a brief daily check-in for the Scrum team. When I say brief, I mean it. Think 15 minutes or less. It’s called a standup because it’s so short you don’t need to sit down.
This article will cover four essential topics for the daily scrum
Everyone in the Scrum team comes to the Standup. But it’s not just an attendance thing, and participation is critical. Let’s walk through how each role participates.
The dev team is the ones who do most all of the talking because they are doing the work. They set the meeting structure and decide what questions they will ask or what order they will go in. They provide updates and ask questions of one another.
The meeting is the team’s responsibility and they are accountable. If the team identifies a problem and immediately goes into problem-solving mode, the Scrum master might remind them about the focus of the daily Scrum and ask if they have enough clarity to wait until after the meeting to continue creating a solution.
The scrum master is also paying attention to obstacles that surface. I would usually keep a list of what I hear during the meeting and immediately follow up with people to see how we could get them unstuck.
The product owner doesn’t need to give any updates, but they still have two critical roles during the meeting.
It can be tempting for other leaders in the organization to want to attend the Standup, and I don’t recommend this. It changes the environment from a collaborative engagement to status updates that feel more like reading a presentation than solving a problem. This meeting is for the team, not the organization, and those leaders can attend the sprint review to see how the work progresses.
If the team is colocated, the meeting should happen next to the Scrum board, where all the work can be visible and actively referenced during the session. If they are a distributed team, the board should be visible to everyone. I’ve found the Standup to be a critical cadence for keeping distributed teams in sync.
Scrum has a lot of meetings and it can be hard to keep them straight, especially when you're getting started.
The Scrum meeting checklist has all the details you need to run effective Scrum meetings.