What Are The Five Keys To Agile Scrum Meetings?

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Mar 24, 2022
Updated on
Jun 21, 2022
Table of Content

Scrum meetings are an essential part of the agile process. They provide a time and place for team members to collaborate and communicate, and help ensure that everyone is on the same page and pushing towards a common goal.

But the initial scrum adjustment period can be challenging. Agile workflows are a foreign concept to many product owners and development teams, and it can be intimidating to adopt a new methodology if you’ve never worked at an agile company before.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the keys to effective agile scrum meetings. You’ll learn the purpose of scrum meetings, how to ensure meeting time goes smoothly. and the five essential components of an efficient, effective scrum meeting process.

Let’s get started!

The purpose of scrum meetings

In modern-day software development, understanding scrum meetings is critical to the development of an effective agile process.

Simply put, a scrum meeting is a daily stand-up meeting between the development team and the product owner. The scrum meeting is used to track the progress of the project and keep everyone aligned with its goals.

The scrum meeting has three main purposes: 

1) To track the progress of the project.

2) To ensure everyone is aligned with the goals of the project.

3) To identify any potential roadblocks in the way to meeting those goals.

The scrum meeting is typically held daily and should last no more than 10-15 minutes. Though the specifics of your meeting structure may be different, generally, the meeting will go something like this:

1) Team members will report yesterday’s accomplishments  and what they plan to do today.

2) The product owner will update the team on any changes or new requirements that have been added since the last meeting.

3) Any roadblocks or issues that have been identified will be discussed and resolved.

The scrum meeting is an important part of the scrum process and should be exploited to its fullest potential in order to ensure a successful project.

5 Keys to Effective Agile Scrum Meetings

Unfortunately, there's some confusion about how to best structure scrum meetings. This is usually a byproduct of miscommunication; scrum masters and product owners interpret the scrum guide differently, and pass down different methodologies to their team. The resulting confusion can naturally lead to ineffective scrum meetings.

We've spent thousands of hours distilling the perfect scrum process. Over the next few minutes, you'll learn the 5 keys to agile scrum meetings, and we'll help dispel some  scrum myths.

1. Regular Attendance is Essential

The scrum meeting is only as effective as its participants intend it to be. Therefore, all team members involved in achieving the goal should be in attendance. This includes developers, testers, product owners and stakeholders. 

Ensure that everyone on the team can attend most of the meetings and avoid scheduling them when people are likely to be unavailable. This is one of the single, most important things you can do to ensure agile scrum meeting success. 

Since many teams work asynchronously, take special care to make sure your team is available. If someone cannot participate, they should know that they are expected to send a representative or join via video call.

2. Keep Agile Scrum Meetings Short and Focused

One of the goals of scrum meetings is to keep everyone on track. This means ensuring that agile scrum meetings are short and focused, so that team members don't get bogged down with unnecessary discussion. By staying on topic you can ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.

The duration of a perfect agile scrum meeting is naturally the subject of much debate. Some scrum experts think that 10 minutes is the perfect time frame for a fast, efficient meeting - less time puts pressure on each participant to distil their contributions as effectively as possible. Others believe that making scrum meetings too short leads to unnecessary anxiety around the process, and think that fifteen minutes is preferable.

The reality is, a five minute difference in your meeting time will have little impact on your bottom line. Try both out and see what works best for you.

3. Stick to the Agenda

Another often misunderstood tenet of effective agile scrum meetings, agendas are crucial to the success of your scrum. 

As a rule, circulate the agenda for your meeting ahead of time so that everyone knows what’s going to be discussed. Generally, every agenda should include updates from previous meetings, tasks that need to be completed, issues that should be addressed, and any new information gathered since you and the team last spoke.

4. Encourage Active Participation

One of the best ways to ensure that scrum meetings are effective is by encouraging the active involvement of all team members. This means establishing that everyone gets to share their thoughts and ideas, and no one is left out of the discussion. 

Encouraging active participation means that everyone has a say in how the project is progressing and helps avoid any potential conflict down the road. It also lets developers take agency over their assignments and identify with team successes - a critical part of building team autonomy.

5. Use Visuals Whenever Possible

Use visuals to keep everyone on the same page during a scrum meeting. This could include storyboards, task boards, or graphs that track progress. Not only do visuals help keep everyone organised and on track, they can also be beneficial for monitoring progress and identifying potential problems.

In Closing

There are many keys to success in scrum meetings, but these five are a good starting point to help your team collaborate effectively and efficiently. Making the most of scrum meetings is essential to accomplishing any agile project. 

By focusing on creating an effective and efficient team environment, you will derive the most value from your scrum meetings and your agile process as a whole.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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