What are daily Scrum meetings?
When making use of the agile Scrum method, teams hold a meeting everyday called the Daily Scrum Meeting. This is an important communication tool for the team members and happens at about the same time each day. In this meeting, the team checks the progress towards completing the sprint targets and deals with any backlog. They gain an understanding of the targets, tasks remaining, etc. using a set of (usually 3) daily Scrum questions.
Through the daily Scrum meetings, team members get an update on the completed tasks. They also understand what the members are working on at the moment and figure out any blockers in the path.
These daily Scrum meetings happen after the sprint planning. In the meetings, generally, the Scrum master leads the meetings and directs the others. Then, each member tells about the progress of the work they did after the previous meeting. They also talk about the plan for the given day. Any problems that could arise are also reported. Only the dev team members who are working on a given sprint attend the daily Scrum meetings.
The meetings are usually short in duration. They are also called Standup meetings.
The Three Daily Scrum Questions
In the daily Scrum meetings, team members are asked the following three questions:
- What have you completed since the last meeting?
- What will you do until the next meeting?
- Is there anything blocking your progress?
These questions are asked to gain a deeper understanding of each person's work. However, they are not always uniform across teams. Teams modify the questions to fit the needs of their project if required. Jeff Sutherland, a well known Scrum author, made the concept of just two questions popular. For the sake of this blog, we will be dealing with the three usual questions. Let's understand what they aim to achieve in detail.
1. What have you completed since the last meeting?
Asking this question enables every dev to see the progress of the team. It tests the team's focus. Any task which wasn't completed is questioned. It also encourages team members to work better when they see the achievements of others.
Based on the answers, if someone isn't able to complete tasks too often, they could be removed from the team. The team may also discover new tasks in the process. In this question, the Scrum master gains an understanding of if the tasks will be done as planned.
2. What will you do until the next meeting?
One important function of this question is to eliminate unnecessary tasks. Any task which does not contribute to the goal is taken off the list. If there's any dependency change made clear by the first question, then the tasks for the day may be reshuffled.
Through this question, the Scrum master gets a good idea of what tasks are going to start. If the team works on old tasks itself, and does not start new tasks often, it could mean that they are off track.
3. Is there anything blocking your progress?
There could be various barriers to the team's progress. It could be that the necessary tech isn't working well or isn't provided to the team. In such a case, the management would have to make necessary provisions.
There could also be a lot of unnecessary meetings that the devs are expected to attend. The management would have to remove these, too. The Scrum master works towards eliminating all such bottlenecks so that the team is able to complete the work at a fast pace.