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Scrum: Some basic rules for the Daily Scrum meeting – these can help

For the past many posts, I have been writing about some specific points, the knowledge of which can help in the conducting of such Daily Scrum meetings, reduce frustration and ensure that the scrum team members are comfortable with attending the Daily Scrum meeting and contributing. I will talk about the principles briefly, but should be enough for somebody to understand what these principles are, and how they can make the meetings more effective:
– Meeting needs to be brief. People attending should be crisp, not prone to speaking at length, and people should not feel that they are stuck in a daily meeting where a lot of their time is getting used up. Time less than 15 minutes is good.
– Any issue that gets discussed in the meeting should be tabled and taken off to dedicated meetings that happen after the Daily Scrum, involving only those members of the Scrum team who get impacted by the issue.
– Meeting only for the team members. This is critical. I have known many managers who feel they can understand what is going on in the project by attending the Daily Scrum. This is not the recommended use of Daily Scrum meeting, but if other people do attend, they need to understand that they are there in a non-speaking or interfering mode.
– The meeting should be help every working day, preferably at the same location and same time. Let not people decide that they would do the meeting on need basis, or every alternate day or otherwise.
– Have the order in which people speak to be something that the team can decide. When people know that they are 5th speaker after the current speaker, they may not be focusing on what the speaker is talking about right now.
– Ensure that people report their impediments to the meeting. There are 2 refinements on this one. Firstly, where the impediment can be resolved earlier than the Daily Scrum meeting, the concerned team member should take tine initiative to resolve the impediment early. Secondly, when impediments are reported in front of the Scrum Master, the Scrum Master should have a report that outlines the steps taken to resolve such impediments; this also helps in building up the confidence of the team members.
– Preferable to have the meeting at a time that is earlier in the day, thus ensuring that people can do their discussions (including the ones that follow after the Daily Scrum meeting) and have their list of tasks clear with each other. If this means that people need to be somewhat persuaded to attend at a common time, then so be it.
– There is a lot of debate about the role of the Product Owner in the daily scrum. If there are geographic distances and the like, then it would be more difficult for the Product Owner to attend. However, even if the Product Owner does attend, the temptation to respond to some of the updates in the Daily Scrum needs to be controlled.

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