Daily Scrum: What regular exchange brings to a project team
Regular team exchanges play an important role in agile project management. The number of meetings may increase compared to traditional project management methods. However, the time team members spend in conferences is decreasing. Read in this blog post how a daily scrum works, why it does not necessarily have to take place daily and what regular short meetings bring to the project team.
It is not the big that eat the small, but the fast that eat the slow. I'm sure you've heard that saying before. But even if it looks a bit worn out - it has not lost its validity. Flexibility is the order of the day - especially for entrepreneurs. The traditional way of handling projects has in many cases become too rigid for the current challenges. Because with the waterfall model it is necessary to know relatively exactly what is to come out at the end right at the beginning. In many projects, however, this is only possible to a certain extent. The general conditions, the customer's requirements or the strategy of the competition change too quickly. Agile project management methods such as Scrum, on the other hand, allow you to react very quickly to changes. The fast moving software industry has been using Scrum for a long time. Now the method, which stands for small, self-organizing and agile units, is also finding its way into other industries and areas.
The Daily Scrum is about 3 questions
So that Scrum actually leads to the desired results, there are clearly defined roles for the participants and fixed elements. One of these is the so-called Daily Scrum. This is where the members of a project team meet to exchange ideas. Three questions are discussed in these short meetings:
- What has happened since the last meeting?
- What am I planning for the next meeting?
- What prevents me from achieving this goal?
Each team member answers these three questions as briefly and concisely as possible.
"Daily" does not mean daily but regularly
The term "Daily Scrum" suggests that such meetings have to take place daily. But you can adapt this specification to your individual requirements. It is important that the meetings take place regularly and are cancelled briefly.
They can also convey the desired brevity and conciseness to the participants through the setting. Organize stand-up meetings at standing tables. This prevents the participants from settling in too comfortably in the conference room.
Daily Scrum as a compact format for a project meeting offers you 7 advantages, provided you take a few things into account:
- By focusing on the three questions, each participant must get to the heart of the matter and get to the point as quickly as possible.
- The compact meeting format prevents meetings from escalating in time and subject matter.
- The Daily Scrum only discusses what is essential for the team. Important details can then be discussed. However, only those team members should participate in this round who are affected by it or who can contribute directly. The other project members, however, have time to devote themselves to other things.
- Each Daily Scrum is moved by a Canvas- or Task Board. All tasks that the project participants have fulfilled are moved. The new tasks are noted on the meeting tool. This movement on the task board signals the progress of the project to everyone. This promotes motivation. However, it is important that the tasks can be completed in a short time. A task that stays on the same spot on the task board for weeks is extremely demotivating. Here it helps to split a larger task into several smaller tasks.
- The Daily Scrum ensures that every project member is always up to date. This eliminates the need for team members to update each other. This activity is particularly time-consuming, as it often takes place in one-on-one interviews during which different information is passed on. Or the project members inform themselves via e-mails or an e-mail distribution list. There are many excuses for not having read internal e-mails. In short: neither one-on-one interviews nor e-mails keep all project members up to date.
- Daily Scrums are particularly effective if they are professionally moderated. This is the task of the Scrum Master. The accompaniment ensures that every meeting participant has an equal say. In classical meetings it comes to the phenomenon again and again that some participants make themselves, their state of mind and their work the topic of lengthy monologues. More reserved participants often have no say, even if they really have something substantial to say. Since self-portrayal and work output often behave diametrically, important issues are often not discussed at classic conferences. Internal resources and know-how often remain unused.
- A daily scrum can be displayed very well via a video conference. Project members can also participate from anywhere in the world. This format also forces a structured moderation - otherwise it quickly degenerates into a farce. The task board is virtually visible to every participant and everyone can also take it with them digitally or can see it for everyone via the cloud. Remember, however, to schedule such virtual meetings at a time of day that you can also expect participants in other time zones.
Conclusion: Daily Scrum: What regular exchange brings to a project team
With agile project management, your company becomes more flexible and faster. The conference format Daily Scrum requires efficiency from every participant due to its exact protocol. The resources and know-how of the entire project team are used optimally through professional moderation. Although Scrum does not require daily, but at least regular meetings, employees will spend less time in meetings. Background: At present, about one-fifth of working hours are spent in meetings. Our own experience has shown that these are not always productive or sometimes not necessary at all. If reducing such meetings is the only advantage you get from Scrum, you and your company have already gained a lot.
Born in Lower Austria. At LEAD Innovation she works as Head of Innovation and focuses on agile innovation management via SCRUM.