Rules and Best Practices for the Daily Scrum / Stand-up meeting

by Sampath Prahalad

We all know the 3 questions that are to be answered in the daily Scrum meeting.

  1. Yesterday: What did you work on since the last Scrum?
  2. Today: What will you be working on till the next Scrum?
  3. In my way: What impediments are you facing?

Below are some Written Rules and some Good practices for the daily scrum meet.

Written rules

  1. Everyone stands… Except when someone has a physical condition that prevents him/her from doing so. Incentive: Standing burns calories
  2. No discussions in the meeting. Each person just provides his/her update. Discussions are to be taken up after the meeting.
  3. Time box. The meeting duration is 15 mins… max.
  4. Concise crisp updates. Each person should stick to the questions above. Updates should be short and focused on the task at hand.
  5. For the team. This meeting is for the team. Everyone on the team should attend. Everyone else (management, etc) can attend, but should be mere spectators.
  6. The meeting is not mandatory for the Product Owner. He can attend if he wants to, but should resist the temptation to jump in to provide clarifications.

Best Practices. Some practices that go a long way…

  1. The meeting is better conducted in first half of the day at a time that is comfortable to everyone. Neither too early, nor too late.
  2. Do not skip a day. Conduct it on all working days. The rhythm has to set in.
  3. Encourage people to report what their impediments are. A week of daily Scrum meetings without any impediment could mean that something is going unnoticed.
  4. There is no particular order of people to be followed. Start at a person and go in one direction. No ‘Dev first’ OR ‘QA first’ kind of thing.
  5. Chickens (managers, senior managers, etc) find it extremely difficult to keep quiet. Exclude them from the daily stand-up if possible.

Is something missing from the list above? Please leave a comment.

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2 Comments to “Rules and Best Practices for the Daily Scrum / Stand-up meeting”

  1. Good read. I would like to understand the nature of stand-up meetings when you have particpats from across the geography / time zones. Any do’s & don’ts?

  2. In the case of distributed teams, there really is not much choice of a Face to face meeting. Use video tools like Skype for remote participants. Also, if there are equal participants from 2 sites, make sure to rotate the time. Suggestion: Daily scrum for Sprint ‘n’ can be held on day time and for Sprint ‘n+1′ can be held in evening time. Ensure that the meeting gets over in 15 mins or less and that people stick to their updates.

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