If you’re considering Scrum, you’ve probably noticed there are several new meetings.
Do you have to do all these Scrum meetings?
I empathize with this question, and I don’t like unnecessary meetings. I want to protect focused time for deep creative work. If you’re considering Scrum but concerned about how many meetings there seem to be, this article is for you.
Key ideas we’ll cover:
In order to see what meetings can be replaced by Scrum meetings. We need to start by clarifying how often Scrum meetings occur.
Scrum meetings have a maximum length. If they can be shorter, do that, but Scrum time-boxes meetings to keep them from going too long.
Most meetings occur at some regular cadence, and it may be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
You’ll notice many of the meetings have a maximum length. If they can be shorter, do that, but Scrum time-boxes meetings to keep them from going too long.
Now that you’ve seen what Scrum meetings accomplish and when they occur, you may begin looking more critically at the meetings already taking up space on your calendar.
This will certainly depend on the meetings you have as a team, but here are a few typical meetings you can cancel or reduce because Scrum meetings fulfill their purpose.
Let’s be honest; some of these meetings could be replaced by an email.
Sometimes called a staff meeting, this meeting is often near the end of the week where the team discusses some important topics, maybe evaluates the week and looks ahead to plan future projects. Much of the content of this kind of meeting is covered by the backlog refinement, review, retrospective and sprint planning meetings. This meeting is no longer needed when practicing Scrum.
Let’s be honest; some of these meetings could be replaced by an email. A key value in agile is Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Therefore we want to maintain interaction when providing updates. The sprint review and daily standup accomplish this purpose very effectively. You can cancel your other status meetings when practicing Scrum. They aren’t needed.
These kinds of meetings are the type that sneaks in and takes over most people’s calendars. They are the 1-hour meeting to discuss a specific topic the team is working on. When practicing Scrum, the team still needs conversations to problem-solve or coordinate on crucial points. But they tend to be shorter interactions, like a 15-minute conversation or a slack message. They already have context and maybe even started the discussion during the standup or backlog refinement. These ad hoc meetings can be both shortened and less frequent.
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.