In any project under agile scrum methodology Daily Scrum or Daily Standup is an important ceremony. Success depends on how you treat the ceremony itself and how you choose to implement it. It is difficult to ensure that the meeting doesn’t go off track and achieve the purpose for which it was instituted.

MeetNotes can help you run scrum meetings that are focussed and stay on track. Let me explain how you can effectively conduct daily scrum and how MeetNotes integrated with Slack is a valuable asset in doing so.

What is Scrum?

According to Scrum.org, “Daily scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours.” The daily scrum serves as a tool to inspect what progress was made towards the sprint goal. It also helps understand if work is completed with regard to the sprint backlog. This meeting is an opportunity for the team to connect to each other, to understand how their work relates to the team’s productivity. It gives an opportunity to work as a self-organizing team and accomplish the sprint goal.

I have found that effective scrums result in better team communication and fewer unnecessary meetings It also helps identify obstacles, improves the team knowledge base and facilitates faster decision making.

Here are my five tips for a great daily standup.

1.Define the Meeting Purpose

An important reason for daily scrums to go off track is the lack of purpose. As a scrum master it is important to remind the team about the objective of an agile scrum. During the meeting, team members should:

  1. Make commitments to each other.
  2. Give an update on work progress.
  3. Raise issues and address blockers.

Don’t use the scrum to report status to the manager and don’t discuss solutions to problems. This can make the meeting monotonous and it will run longer than the scheduled 15 minutes. If the scrum starts to feel like just another chore, then it’s time to take a step back and realign scrum with your team’s work processes.

2.Be Prepared for your Scrum

I always use a template to keep my scrum meetings short and focussed. With the MeetNotes standard scrum template this becomes easy. Don’t like the standard template? Create your own with the custom template feature. The questions that usually feature in every template are:

  1. What did you do yesterday
  2. What will you do today
  3. Are there any blockers or dependencies?

Richard Lawrence in his post “One Word Can Change Your Daily Scrum” suggests replacing the word “do” with “complete”. These questions will then become:

  1. What did you complete yesterday
  2. What will you complete today.
  3. Are there any blockers or dependencies?

This can markedly improve the effectiveness of your scrum.

With the MeetNotes Slackbot you can update or add to your notes, pin messages and be prepared for your scrum. You can also get actions items from previous scrums and update their status .You can read the MeetNotes Slack Bot User Guide to learn more.

3. Maintain a Consistent Scrum Schedule

Fix a time for scrum everyday and stick to it. Morning or end-of-day scrums, whichever works for your teams. Ensure that your team actually stands up. This can prevent the meetings from running overtime. Ensure that your kanban board is nearby so that everyone can refer to it while making commitments for the day.

The MeetNotes slackbot offers a daily summary of meetings scheduled and also reminds you ten minutes before a meeting starts. This helps you start your meeting on time and make it productive.

4. Share Notes with Your Team

Once the scrum is over, sharing notes pushes the team to stick to their commitments. It serves as a beacon for their work and creates a productive and collaborative workforce. Maintaining a record of the scrum notes makes team members more accountable. Work status becomes transparent for all stakeholders. MeetNotes enables you to share notes over slack or email. Notes are shared as a post , and you can share with both public and private Slack channels. Everyone stays updated and nothing falls through the cracks.

5. Make Your Scrums Fun

Don’t let your scrum become just another boring routine. Here are a few ideas to try at your next scrum.

  1. Shake things up, use some fun music to signal the start of the scrum. This can help jumpstart your meeting and make it exciting. Use a different song everyday and shake a leg!
  2. Pass around an object (such as a ball) to determine who speaks next. You can also use any other token.
  3. Offer a reward. Be creative, offer snacks, movie tickets or gift vouchers for being prepared for the scrum.

Scrum is all about finding processes that work for your team and being consistent. Flexibility and consistency are key principles that can make daily scrums effective.Set the meeting purpose, create your template and progress towards the sprint goal. And don’t forget to add a dash of fun.