Browsing articles in "Agile Projects"
Jul 13, 2012

Scrum Series I -Daily Stand-Up Meeting

Daily stand-up meetings play a vital role in the successful execution of Agile/Scrum process-based projects.Though Most of us know how to conduct “Stand-up” meetings,it is not conducted authentically most of the times.This article is about how to make Stand-up meetings effective.I expect to hear back from my readers about how they maintain the effectiveness of the daily stand-up in their scrum projects.
It’s extremely important to guide and let our teams know about the usefulness of daily stand-ups.
Beleive me, it’s worth all the efforts as successful stand-ups can guide sprints successfully throughout a Scrum-based project.

Here are tips which may prove helpful.

The need of Disciplne in stand-ups:
Explain your team the most effective ways of using time during the daily stand-up. Then ensure that the team follows them:

The daily stand-up should be time-limited.10-30mins should be enough.
The ScrumMaster/Project Manager should facilitate regular daily meeting times.
Try not to change the time of this meeting . Scrum always demands discipline.
Efforts can be made to update the sprint backlog during this meeting.
Each member of the team should participate in this meeting. In some prjects, senior members sometimes do not participate,
They should be educated on the the importance of their participation and the help they can provide to the team.
Team members should listen and understand the discussions to know how the team as a whole is performing so they can help each other to resolve pending issues.
Its mandatory that each team member remains present till the end. Sometimes members leave after updating their own work plan, but the purpose of the stand-up is to understand how well the team is doing to achieve the sprint goals .

Working with the customer :

The team should think of daily stand-ups as a way to communicate effectively to the customer, in addition to each other, about progress. No one wants any sudden surprises at the end of the sprint; these can be avoided if team members give regular and accurate updates during each daily stand-up.
The real value from the daily scrum is for the team to discover how they can best help each other to meet its sprint commitment.
To this end, it needs to feel free to discuss work, openly and without regard for external observers
The stand-up should go on even if project manager or a few team members could not join on a specific day for any reason.

Set backs faced by new teams
Scrum isn’t easy enough. It requires commitment from each team member, and new members aren’t always used to this work culture.

Below are some obstacles commonly faced by new Scrum teams:

Lack of scrum process knowledge: New Scrum teams need training about the Scrum process so they can effectively use the daily stand-up for its intended purpose. The ScrumMaster needs to provide this coaching and process knowledge to the team(s). In the same way, each team member must actively participate, to communicate how the team is doing and to fully learn the daily stand-up meeting process.

Hiding work details: It’s important that every team member is transparent in his or her work and gives accurate updates. The team needs a place where they can talk without fear of being evaluated or scrutinized by outsiders, especially by managers who might impose consequences. A team member might be less likely to admit a mistake or lack of knowledge if the person who writes her annual review is listening in. But this member’s issue could be critical information for the team to ensure sprint success.The daily stand-up needs to be a safe place for the team to discuss its work: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Comparisons with the Waterfall process
New members will mostly try to relate the Scrum-based process to Waterfall. This, however, is something which must be avoided. It’s important to follow agile process fully and correctly, and it’s the ScrumMaster’s job to make sure his or her team knows how to do this.Not only is the team culture different in Scrum but the way the team works with the customer is different as well.
Working with the customer effectively to deliver each sprint is key in Scrum based projects.


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