Monday, November 20, 2017

Daily Scrum Meeting - Pitfalls and Negative Patterns | Supreme Agile

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪Meeting problems‬‏
The daily scrum meetings are the basic platform for the team to discuss and collaborate prior to starting the workday, it’s a daily 15 minutes (MAX) meeting, where the scrum members are asked to provide answers to three simple questions:
  1. What is accomplished since the last daily meeting?
  2. What is your plan for today?
  3. What is keeping you from succeeding to deliver?

Sounds like a very simple meeting agenda, right? However, you will be amazed to see how easy it is to turn a daily meeting into another useless and ineffective meeting.

In this article, I will make a short review of the most common pitfalls and negative patterns that affect the quality of the daily stand-up meeting.   

Mistake #1 - Team Members Not Showing Up On Time

The daily scrum meeting is limited for a MAX of 15 minutes, due to this narrow timeframe, there is a Hugh importance that the participants will arrive on time, although it may look simple to make sure that the team members are attending on time, many teams are still struggling with some of their team members that come late to the meeting due to personal discipline issues.

Suggestions for addressing this issue:
  1. Make sure that the meeting will occur early as possible, but pick the time that is the most comfortable to the team members, getting the team agreement is the first step to guarantee that they will arrive on time (and one less excuse for the team…).
  2. Make sure that there is enough time for the team members between meetings that occur prior the daily and the daily itself, if that the case, make sure that you provide the team members at least 15-20 minutes so they can arrive on time.
  3. Make sure that you do not wait to team members that come late; the rest of the team should not suffer from such behavior.
  4. In case of a team member delay, do not allow them to participate (Feedback is not taken/Given).

Mistake #2 – The Meeting Starts Too Late

The Daily standup is the first meeting that the team has throughout the iteration, as such, it’s a very important to start the meeting early as possible to allow all team members to synchronize and raise any issues that affect their progress.

Mistake #3 –NOT a Status Meeting  

The daily scrum meeting is time-boxed to 15 minutes, if the team members asked to report the work they did on the previous working day, they will most likely start to add technical information that is not relevant to the meeting, as a result, the meeting cannot end at the time scheduled and will become less effective.

The main goal to execute this meeting is to allow the team members to share information and sync about their progress (Based on the three basic questions that you all familiar with), there is no reason to discuss deep technical solutions that encounter the meeting agenda.

Mistake #4 – Too Much Detail

The meeting agenda is relatively simple; the team members are just asked to answer three simple questions, although, in some cases, the answers contains too much information than needed.  If that the case, the other members will lose their attention. To avoid this pitfall, the scrum master should keep the answers short, stop the talking once needed, and take it offline after the meeting. 


Mistake #5 – Keep the Meeting Agenda

To achieve the best results for this meeting, the team should follow the basic agenda of this meeting as it intends to be, one by one, each member of the team will provide an answer to the three basic questions :
  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What did you attend to do today?
  3. Any obstacles?

Any further discussion that is not relevant to these questions, should be addressed and resolved (By the SM) after the meeting.  

Mistake #6 – The Scrum Master show

The scrum master “Show” is any situation where the scrum master involvement reduced the effectiveness of the meeting, In many teams there is still a wrong conception that the daily scrum is meant for the scrum master, but this is far from being true, the daily scrum meeting is held for the team to discuss their progress based on the commitments they took at the start of the iteration.

Examples:
  1. Team members speaking to the scrum master instead of other team members.
  2. While team members are speaking, their eye contact is with the Scrum Master, which will resolve the loss of focus of all the other team members.
  3. The scrum master asks questions while the team members share their answers.
  4. The scrum master starts to plan a technical solution about a work that needed to do.
  5. The scrum master directly asks people to start speaking, the team knows what they supposed to do, so there is no real reason for the SM to interfere.
  6. The scrum master starts issuing instructions to the team members.
To avoid this wrong behavior, it’s the scrum master responsibility to educate the team members about the importance of this items, in addition to that, the scrum master should take one step back (During the meeting) to enforce the team to talk one with each other. 

Mistake #7 – Choose the Right Location

In most cases, the daily scrum meeting held in the team place of work, the main idea behind it is that we want to allow the team to start working as soon as the meeting completes.

Mistake #8 – Working with the Right Tools


Another major failure that can occur during this meeting is when the meeting executed without the relevant tools such as the Task Board and Burndown chart that shows the user stories and their status throughout of the iteration. To avoid this mistake, the meeting should be held with a visible scrum board that will allow the team members to talk about their work with the ability to use the board as a reference. 

Mistake #9 – Mixing of Different Meetings

There are five known meetings in Scrum, each one of them created to address a specific need in the process, in many situations, a common mistake occurs when the team starts to involve goals and process that must be addressed in meetings that specifically designed for that purpose.

Examples:
  1. The team discusses features that should be developed by the team during the iteration (Should be discussed in the planning and Refrainment meetings).
  2. The team discusses problems that do not relevant to their current commitments (Relevant to the Retrospective Meeting).
  3. The team starts to review their completed work and present it to the other team members (Relevant to the Review meeting).

Mistake #10 - Problem-solving

The third question that is asked during the meeting is “Is there any problem that affecting your ability to work?” a common problem that I frequently see in teams, is that team members and especially the scrum master, are using the meeting time to find a technical solutions for the problems raised instead of keeping the meeting agenda. To handle such problems, The scrum master should write down all issues raised by the team, and addressed them one by one as soon as the meeting completes.  


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