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Challenges in Daily Stand-up Meetings

And how to tackle them

27 November 2017

Shreehari Narayana
EdgeVerve


In general terms, the Daily Scrum is a short, everyday meeting, ideally held during the start of the workday. Each team member who works toward the completion of a given sprint must participate in this meeting. During the meeting, each team member must provide brief answers to the following three questions:
  1. What have you accomplished since the last Daily Scrum meeting?
  2. What are you going to accomplish until the next Scrum meeting?
  3. What are the impediments that prevent you from accomplishing your tasks?
All team members must attend and stand during the meeting. The Daily Scrum should ideally not last more than 15 minutes. But there are certain challenges that arise during these meetings, which the ScrumMaster must tackle. Otherwise the results of the Scrum meeting may be disappointing and not good for the project.
 

Our team’s challenges

The following are some of the challenges that we faced in our project.

Some members were not willing to attend or didn’t attend regularly.

  • If anyone was not able to attend the meeting because the meeting was scheduled early in the morning, we rescheduled the time so that everyone could attend.
  • If anyone was purposely missing the meeting, we penalized them by having them provide chocolates to all other team members in the meeting.
  • The location of the stand-up meeting was easily accessible for all team members to attend, and it was never changed.
  • We educated team members on the fact that this was not a status update meeting wherein they informed the ScrumMaster of the status of their tasks.


Some members were not providing proper updates to the team.

  • If anyone was not providing updates, we counseled them and discussed the actual problem. If it was attributable to fear or shyness, we helped them with providing updates during the meeting and appreciated their effort.
  • We ensured that team members were aware of what they had to update in the stand-up before their attendance.
  • For the first few days and for the benefit of new members of the Scrum Team, we discussed what they would be discussing in the stand-up meeting and helped them with correcting and formulating the proper information before attending. This helped them to confidently provide proper updates.


Some members were not paying attention in the stand-up meeting.

  • We randomly updated the speaker order during the meeting. We simply picked a team member who was not paying attention and asked him to update us.
  • To increase attention, we usually followed commonly used techniques, such as using a rugby ball or tennis ball that was passed from one team member to another randomly, so that each member remained attentive and ready to catch the ball at any moment — in other words, they remained ready to provide an update.


Some members were not accountable for their tasks.

  • At the start of each sprint, we assigned user stories to each team member and informed them of their accountability.
  • Each day we followed up with the team member to get his or her update.
  • We circulated a daily update email internally to each team member about development. The email also included a chart that showed the percentage of completion for a specific user story.
  • We created an awareness among team members that each one was responsible for their user story from beginning to end, until the status could be changed to “Done” in Jira.
  • Team members were taught the importance of the user story and were involved in all discussions with the client so that each member assumed accountability.
  • We offered awards and recognition during the sprint retrospective meeting for team members who had completed their tasks most efficiently in the sprint.


Conclusion

The daily stand-up meeting helps to sync up team members and identifies how well the team is progressing toward the sprint goal. Each team member should address his or her statements to the other team members, which cultivates a collaborative atmosphere. It is the duty of the ScrumMaster to make these meetings fruitful and to contribute to the success of the sprints.
 

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



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Comments

PHANEENDRA KUMAR GV, CSM, 11/27/2017 1:01:40 AM
informative. but should we avoid the word status in agile platform or is it okay? I believe daily standups are for interaction for better self organizing and resolve impediments.

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