How to take the Daily Scrum to the next level?

The heart of every agile process is teamwork. Ultimately, the agile manifesto itself favours individuals and interactions over processes and tools – and the Daily Scrum is one of the most renowned part of this framework. However, it’s not uncommon lately to hear that this meeting practice is a bit outdated, not to say – a waste of time.

Well, we couldn’t disagree with this more! Daily Scrum brings value and enhances efficiency, but

Today, we’re going to discuss why Daily Scrum is so important, and we’re going to share some tips and tricks on how to take it to the next level, together with the whole Team-Customer communication.

What Daily Scrum is (and what it’s not)

The very idea behind the Daily Scrum is to share information and re-plan collective work of the Development Team for the next 24 hours in order to progress in the best possible way towards the goal of the Sprint. It takes a form of a maximum 15-minute meeting that occurs every day, ideally at the same place and the same hour. It is in fact aclosed-loop feedback cycle, kept brief and focused on only the most important things – what has been achieved, what is planned to achieve and if there were any impediments on the road towards the goal.

What’s important to note, is that the Daily Scrum is not a status update for the stakeholders. It is an inspection of the sprint progress and an adaptation of the sprint backlog in the daily plan, so that the Team stays in sync until the next meeting.

The benefits of a Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum meetings not only help the team in preparation for the day’s collaboration and allow corrections during the sprint. Of course, they enable for high progress visibility and encourage self-organization. But what’s most important, is that Daily Scrums facilitate sharing knowledge, enhance openness and build trust between the Team members.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FEELING OF BEING IN THIS TOGETHER!

Do a Daily Scrum like a pro

Scrum, although requires a certain level of discipline, leaves a space for personal creativity. That’s why it’s a good idea to not always go by the book and introduce changes to the routine, that will make it efficient and effective. Here’s a list of what we think is crucial to take your Daily Scrum to the next level. For us, it’s all about communication and relations!

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation

Both the Development Team and people representing the customer during the meeting must always be prepared to the stand-up. It is the only way to ensure meeting the sprint goal, and to identify any impediments. It also helps keeping focus at all time, which in turn results in the Team being more engaged.

The Team is also happy to attend future meetings, as they see the value they provide. Moreover – if the Team is well prepared and the meeting is truly productive, the Stakeholders are more likely to notice and appreciate the progress.

2. Cooperate

It is also important to understand, that the biggest benefits come when both parties are involved in the project. Start with precise determination of the roles in the project of both the Team and the Customer. Everybody should also educate other Team members in terms of how to use tools and techniques chosen for the project and create an atmosphere that facilitates knowledge transfer.

The responsibility here rests mostly on the shoulders of Product Owners, who must not only actively participate in day-to-day work on the project, but also make sure the Team and the Customer are cooperating, exchanging insights, sharing know-how and establishing a straightforward relation.

3. Face-to-face whenever you can

In order for the Daily Scrum to be effective and encouraging, it must occur face to face (if that’s possible). However, let’s think about this tip in more broader terms – it is always a great idea to meet in person with both the Team and the Customer, regardless the place. Especially, if on daily basis you’re pretty far away. It is particularly crucial at the very beginning of cooperation. A good meeting at the start of the project not only facilitates the kick-off, but also helps establishing a fruitful relation based on trust.

Meeting in person has also another perk Daily Scrum-wise. It’s good when the customer knows more Development Team members, than just the Project Manager. Feel free to invite Developers of the customer to the Daily Scrum meeting – especially the ones, that were involved in creating a particular solution. They will always provide some technical details and resolve any doubts, what provides extra value from both points of view.

stand up scrum

Video calls and slack are really needed. But if you can, meet the project team live.

4. Choose the right tools

In order to constructively manage the backlog of the project and to run a productive meeting, you will need tools to facilitate the job. Of course, best-quality audio and video conferencing solutions are a must, but that’s just step one. To make sure the Daily Scrum is used to the maximum, it must be connected with tools that support and enhance communication and the workflow.

Each Team surely has their own favourite tools; however, it’s fair to say that nobody was ever fired for using Jira, Slack or Trello. And since you have the tools in place, then make use of them! Encourage your customer to actively work on the backlog and remain switched on in respect of the progress in the project. Just make sure to have the project management tool visibleduring the meeting, so that the team has an easy view on the issues that are currently discussed.

5. Don’t be so formal

It doesn’t always have to be business-casual kind of teleconference. Allow yourself for some informality and see, how the relation nurtures and develops! Don’t hesitate to catch up during the morning commute, when having breakfast or during some spare time on the airport. Sometimes it’s enough to exchange only few crucial thoughts topush the project forward. But even more importantly – getting the relation with your partner outside the conference room is a great method to build trust and establish a bond that will facilitate the cooperation.

The bottom line

The benefits of the Daily Scrum really come when both organizations to the project are conscious of what’s there to achieve. Only adopting the agile mindset allows for thinking outside the boxin order toimplement iterative processes and being people-driven. This truly enables facilitation of both project management and development.

It is important to understand, that agility is a cultural aspect. It’s all about behaviour of the people involved in software development. When done right, it brings so much energy to the table and gives the communication a necessary impact. So, let’s stand up please!

 

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