Meeting fatigue can happen to even the most in sync Scrum teams. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure every meeting you hold with your team is necessary, efficient and valuable. To help you accomplish that goal, we’ve rounded up five Scrum meeting best practices to transform your process and make every meeting count.
But first, let’s back up: what are Scrum meetings?
In the most basic of terms, a Scrum meeting is any meeting held during a Scrum team’s Sprint cycle. Most teams hold the following five Scrum meetings, each with a distinct objective:
1) Sprint Planning: This type of meeting occurs at the beginning of every Sprint and includes the entire team. There are two main objectives of a Sprint planning meeting: develop a Sprint goal and a Sprint backlog.
2) Daily Scrum: Also called daily standups, this type of meeting occurs every day and is purposefully kept short — ideally about 15 minutes. Each team member answers three questions:
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What are you working on today?
- Do you have any blockers keeping you from doing your job?
3) Sprint Review: Typically attended by the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and other stakeholders, this type of meeting is held at the end of each Sprint to reflect on progress and showcase functionality that was completed during the Sprint.
4) Sprint Retrospective: This type of meeting gives the entire team the opportunity to discuss what went well during the Sprint and what could use improvement; come up with action items for workflow improvements.
5) Backlog Refinement: In this meeting, team members can categorize, refine, and prioritize Product Backlog to prepare for the next Sprint.
In order to ensure each Scrum meeting has value — and that every member of your team stays engaged and interested during them — consider applying these best practices:
Stick to the Scheduled Time Frame
It might sound simple, but meetings that start late or run over show disrespect for your team’s workload. Instead of waiting for a late team member to arrive, stick to the schedule and reward punctuality. Setting this standard early and consistently will encourage efficiency and timeliness.
Clarify the objective with an agenda
Each team member should arrive at the meeting with a clear understanding of what the objectives of the discussion will be. This can be achieved by creating a specific and clear agenda that is distributed to attendees prior to the meeting. Everyone will arrive at the meeting know exactly what to expect, reducing distractions and off-topic conversation.
Maximize Daily Scrum Meetings
Your daily standup meetings can be incredibly valuable to your team and the progress of your Sprint goals — when done well. Sticking to the allotted 15 minutes and three guiding questions will keep everyone on track and maximize the quality of information shared. To do this, take the term “standup meeting” literally and conduct your meeting sans chairs. Daily meetings also tend to work best when held at the same time and place every day — ideally first thing in the morning.
Have Your Project Management Tool Available for Easy Reference
In order to avoid lingering questions and lack of clarity, make your project management tool available for everyone to see during all Scrum meetings. This is especially valuable during daily standups since each team member will be able to easily review progress.
Assess and Improve
Think of every meeting as an opportunity to improve your process. Ask yourself: what went well? What can be improved for next time? If meetings were getting off track, what were the contributing factors and how can they be avoided in the future? By continuously assessing each meeting, you can work toward keeping your team on the same page and improving overall effectiveness. The Sprint Retrospective is a great opportunity to reflect and decide on actionables.
With these best practices, your Scrum team will quickly be on the way to maximizing your team’s time with efficient and engaging meetings!
Learn more about how ZenHub can bring agile project management to your software teams today!