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Scrum: Getting team to avoid being verbose in the Daily Scrum meeting

The Daily Scrum meeting is a critical part of Scrum. For Scrum, the team is considered to be empowered, working with each other for getting the work done. A major part of that is about understanding what the other team members is doing (in a typical team structured with a Project Manager and using Waterfall development methodology, it is the Project Manager and leads who have a much better understanding of what each team member is doing). For this purpose, there is a Daily Scrum meeting that is meant to be a quick explanation by each team member of the following:
– What they have done in the last day
– What is planned for the next day
– Are there any impediments that they are facing
Consider a case where a developer is doing a task that will then pass onto the testing team for testing, and is also something that other developers are also dependent on. The Daily Scrum meeting lets all these people get a very quick update of what the status of the task is, which helps them be prepared for getting the task. If the developer is delayed, this update also passes onto the other team members and they can in turn update their task listing accordingly.
But there are some constraints that are there on the Daily Scrum meeting. One of these constraints is that the meeting is not meant for long winded explanations. In order to ensure this, teams try to ensure that the Daily Scrum meeting does not go beyond 15 minutes, other teams have stand-up meetings where (other than situations where it is uncomfortable for a specific team member) there are no chairs in the meeting room and everybody keeps standing. This helps in ensuring that people try and get their updates done quickly and not get into long-winded discussions or explanations.
However, once in a while you will come across a person who really does not understand this, or feels that something is so critical that a longer explanation is necessary. The Scrum Master will have to ensure that he or she prevents people from getting in this mode, and they keep at a short duration discussion on a regular basis. This will need to be repeated if required until the person prone to getting into longer discussions gets the message. There are real reasons why having longer meetings causes problems:
– Having a meeting everyday can be a bit irritating to some of the team members. When you combine this with a meeting that is longer because they are hearing more of items that they already know about or have understood, or even worse, is not related to what they are doing, it makes them more frustrated about why this is happening and why it is not being stopped
– It also encourages other team members to get into similar long discussions rather than stick to smaller updates
– In more extreme circumstances, it can cause team members to think about skipping these meetings once in a while

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