SCRUMstudy Scrum Video on Daily Standup Meeting and its importance to a Scrum team

June 9, 2014
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In this process, everyday a highly focused, Time-boxed meeting is conducted referred to as the Daily Standup Meeting. This is the forum for the Scrum Team to update each other on their progress and any impediments they may be facing.

 

Inputs

 

Scrum Team*

The Scrum Team, sometimes referred to as the Development Team, is a group or team of people who are responsible for understanding the business requirements specified by the Product Owner, estimating User Stories, and final creation of the project Deliverables.  Scrum Teams are cross-functional and self-organizing. The team decides the amount of work to commit to in a Sprint and determines the best way to perform the work. The Scrum Team consists of cross-functional team members, who carry out all the work involved in creating potentially shippable deliverables including development, testing, quality assurance, etc.

 

Scrum Master*

 

Scrum Master is a facilitator and “servant leader” who ensure that the Scrum Team is provided with an environment conducive to completing the project successfully. The Scrum Master guides, facilitates, and teaches Scrum practices to everyone involved in the project; clears impediments for the team; and, ensures that Scrum processes are being followed. It is the responsibility of the Product Owner to identify the Scrum Master for a Scrum project.

 

Sprint Burndown Chart*

 

The Sprint Burndown Chart is a graph that depicts the amount of work remaining in the ongoing Sprint. The initial Sprint Burndown Chart is accompanied by a planned burndown. The Sprint Burndown Chart should be updated at the end of each day as work is completed. This chart shows the progress that has been made by the Scrum Team and also allows for the detection of estimates that may have been incorrect. If the Sprint Burndown Chart shows that the Scrum Team is not on track to finish the tasks in the Sprint on time, the Scrum Master should identify any obstacles or impediments to successful completion, and try to remove them.

 

Impediment Log

 

An impediment is any hindrance or hurdle that reduces the productivity of the Scrum Team. Impediments must be identified, resolved and removed if the team is to continue working effectively. Impediments can be internal to the team, such as inefficient workflow or lack of communication, or they can be external.

Product Owner

One of the outputs of this process is the identification of the Product Owner. The Product Owner is the person responsible for achieving maximum business value for the project. He/she is also responsible for articulating customer requirements and maintaining business justification for the project. The Product Owner represents the Voice of the Customer. Each Scrum Team will have a designated Product Owner. A small project may have only one Product Owner, whereas larger projects may have several. These Product Owners are responsible for managing their sections in the Prioritized Product Backlog. Product Owners write the User Stories and manage and groom the Prioritized Product Backlog.

 

 

Previous Work Day Experience

 

The Scrum Team members give status updates to fellow team members in the Daily Standup Meeting. This session is called a Standup because members stand throughout the meeting. Team members discuss achievements and experience from the previous work day. This experience is an important input to the Daily Standup Meeting.

 

Scrumboard

 

Scrum’s transparency comes from openly viewable information tools like the Scrumboard, which shows the progress of the team. The team uses a Scrumboard to plan and track progress during each Sprint. The Scrumboard contains four columns to indicate the progress of the estimated tasks for the Sprint: a ‘To Do’ column for tasks not yet started, an ‘In Progress’ column for the tasks started but not yet completed, a ‘Testing’ column for tasks completed but in the process of being tested, and a ‘Done’ column for the tasks that have been completed and successfully tested. At the beginning of a Sprint, all tasks for that Sprint are placed in the ‘To Do’ column and are subsequently moved forward according to their progress.

The Scrumboard should preferably be maintained manually on paper or a white board, but can also be maintained electronically in a spreadsheet.

The Scrum Team should change or add to the Scrumboard as required so that the Scrumboard provides visual information and control about the work going on as agreed and committed by the team.

Dependencies

 

Dependencies describe the relationship and interaction between different tasks in a project and can be classified as mandatory or discretionary; or internal or external.

There are numerous ways to identify, define, and present the tasks and their dependencies. Two common methods involve the use of product flow diagrams and Gantt charts.

Tools

 

Daily Standup Meeting

 

The Daily Standup Meeting is a short daily meeting, Time-boxed to 15 minutes. Team members assemble to report their progress in the Sprint and plan the day’s activities. The meeting duration is very short, and all members of the Scrum Team are expected to attend. However, the meeting is not cancelled or delayed if one or more members are not able to attend.

In the meeting, each Scrum Team member provides answers to the Three Daily Questions as mentioned in Section 10.2.2.2. Discussions between the Scrum Master and the team or between some Scrum Team members are encouraged, but such discussions happen after the meeting to ensure that the Daily Standup Meeting is short.

Three Daily Questions

 

In the Daily Standup Meeting, facilitated by the Scrum Master, each Scrum Team member provides information in the form of answers to three specific questions:

  • What did I complete yesterday?
  • What will I complete today?
  • Am I facing any impediments or obstacles?

By focusing on these three questions, the entire team can have a clear understanding of the work status. Occasionally, other items may be discussed, but this is kept to a minimum in light of the Time-boxed nature of the meeting.

It is highly recommended that the first two questions should be answered by team members in a quantifiable manner if possible, instead of qualitative lengthy answers.

War Room

 

In Scrum, it is preferable for the team to be colocated, with all team members working in the same location. The term commonly used to describe this place is the War Room. Normally, it is designed in such a way that team members can move around freely, work, and communicate easily because they are located in close proximity to each other. Typically index cards, sticky notes, and other low-tech, high-touch tools are made available in the room to facilitate workflow, collaboration, and problem solving.

The room is sometimes noisy due to team conversations, but these conversations contribute to the team’s progress. A good War Room is cubicle free and allows the entire team to sit together ensuring face-to-face communication, which leads to team building and openness. The War Room is ideal for conducting Daily Standup Meetings as well.

Stakeholder(s) members from other Scrum Teams could also walk by the War Room and discuss relevant issues.

Video Conferencing

 

In real-life situations, it may not always be possible for the entire Scrum Team to be colocated. In such cases, it becomes imperative to use video conferencing tools to enable face-to-face communication.

 

Outputs

 

Updated Sprint Burndown Chart

 

The Sprint Burndown Chart is a graph that depicts the amount of work remaining in the ongoing Sprint. The initial Sprint Burndown Chart is accompanied by a planned burndown. The Sprint Burndown Chart should be updated at the end of each day as work is completed. This chart shows the progress that has been made by the Scrum Team and also allows for the detection of estimates that may have been incorrect. If the Sprint Burndown Chart shows that the Scrum Team is not on track to finish the tasks in the Sprint on time, the Scrum Master should identify any obstacles or impediments to successful completion, and try to remove them.

 

Updated Impediment Log*

An impediment is any hindrance or hurdle that reduces the productivity of the Scrum Team. Impediments must be identified, resolved and removed if the team is to continue working effectively. Impediments can be internal to the team, such as inefficient workflow or lack of communication, or they can be external. Examples of external impediments might include software license issues or unnecessary documentation requirements. The Scrum framework, with its inherent transparency, facilitates the swift and easy identification of impediments. Failure to identify or deal with impediments can be very costly. Impediments should be formally recorded by the Scrum Master in an Impediment Log, and can be discussed during Daily Standup Meetings and Sprint Review Meetings as appropriate.

Motivated Scrum Team

 

Daily Standup Meetings propagate the idea that each member of the team is important and is a major contributor, which improves individual and team morale. This, along with the concept of self-organizing teams, improves overall motivation and leads to enhanced performance of the team and improved quality of deliverables produced.

Updated Scrumboard

 

Scrum’s transparency comes from openly viewable information tools like the Scrumboard, which shows the progress of the team. The team uses a Scrumboard to plan and track progress during each Sprint. The Scrumboard contains four columns to indicate the progress of the estimated tasks for the Sprint: a ‘To Do’ column for tasks not yet started, an ‘In Progress’ column for the tasks started but not yet completed, a ‘Testing’ column for tasks completed but in the process of being tested, and a ‘Done’ column for the tasks that have been completed and successfully tested. At the beginning of a Sprint, all tasks for that Sprint are placed in the ‘To Do’ column and are subsequently moved forward according to their progress.

The Scrumboard should preferably be maintained manually on paper or a white board, but can also be maintained electronically in a spreadsheet.

The Scrum Team should change or add to the Scrumboard as required so that the Scrumboard provides visual information and control about the work going on as agreed and committed by the team.

 

Unapproved Change Requests

 

Request for changes are usually submitted as Change Requests and remain unapproved until they get formally approved.  Unapproved Change Requests to Develop Epic(s) process could come from Create Deliverables, Conduct Daily Standup and other processes.

 

Identified Risks

When creating Epics, new risks may be identified and such Identified Risks form an important output of this stage. These risks contribute to the development of the Prioritized Product Backlog (which could also be referred to as the Risk Adjusted Product Backlog).

Mitigated Risks

 

As the Scrum Team executes the work of creating deliverables according to the User Stories in the Product Backlog, they carry out the mitigating actions that have been defined to address any previously Identified Risks. Throughout the Create Deliverables process, the team documents any newly Identified Risks and mitigating actions taken. The record of project risks is a living document, continuously updated throughout the project by the team to reflect the current status of all risks

Updated Dependencies

 

Dependencies describe the relationship and interaction between different tasks in a project and can be classified as mandatory or discretionary; or internal or external.

There are numerous ways to identify, define, and present the tasks and their dependencies. Two common methods involve the use of product flow diagrams and Gantt charts.

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