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Conducting a Daily Scrum / Stand-up

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The Daily Scrum / Stand-up allows the Scrum Team to highlight what they are working on and any impediments to progress. It provides the opportunity for rapid communication and decision-making; ensuring issues don’t “fall through the cracks” and eliminating the need for lengthy status meetings that may drag on.

While the Scrum Master may facilitate the Daily Scrum / Stand-up, it is the Scrum Team who conducts the session, “inspecting and adapting” as they work to achieve the sprint goal. The Product Owner and management may attend, but only as “silent observers” - available to provide clarification on user stories or to assume responsibility for impediments that need escalation.

Daily Scrum / Stand-up Best Practices

The Daily Scrum / Stand-up gets it name from the huddle-like appearance of a rugby scrum. Similarly, Scrum Team members “huddle” in-person, or virtually, around their working board or electronic tool (i.e. JIRA, Trello, GitHub, etc.). Team members are encouraged to stand in order to keep the meeting timeboxed to no more than 15 minutes. Any member can start the Daily Scrum / Stand-up as the Team should be prompt (i.e. no need to wait for stragglers) and respectful of each other’s time. Only individuals working directly on the effort should participate. The Scrum Team should communicate their updates using the following three questions:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What are you doing today?
  • Do you have any blockers / impediments?

Fostering Communication

While the Daily Scrum / Stand-up should never be the sole means of communication, it is an effective ceremony for promoting team collaboration. When the ability to have face-to-face conversation is impeded, Stand-ups can also be conducted via collaboration tools, with some even offering “Stand-up bots” that remind the Scrum Team to add their updates (e.g. Slack). Remember, the Daily Scrum / Stand-up is not a status meeting. The goal is for the Scrum Team to quickly communicate progress, unearth obstacles, and make needs for assistance or additional work known - not belabor issues or introduce new topics. If necessary, follow-up discussions can scheduled with the appropriate parties by the Scrum Master or Product Owner.

Good Reads

These are good references for conducting a Daily Scrum / Stand-up: