1. Respect the time: 15 min, not more!
The meetings must start at a fixed time each morning, and the schedule must be strictly respected.
To avoid having only three people present at the DSM each morning, I advise you to discuss the meeting time with the team.
Some may have a lot of public transportation in the morning and cannot give a precise arrival time.
So, even if the Scrum guide imposes that this is the day’s starting point, adapt the method to your teams and make sure that the chosen time suits everyone.
Try to implement it early in the morning. But if your team members arrive between 9 and 10 a.m., it is better to organize it for 10 a.m.
It should not last longer than 15 minutes and should be shorter if the Scrum team has less than six members. It is up to the Scrum Master to ensure this.
Don’t hesitate to set up a timer system.
Everyone must answer the three key questions; if a debate is started, another meeting must be planned to clarify this point during the day.
The DSM is not the time to find a solution to a sensitive product issue.
It is organized to detect friction points and topics that require the team’s time investment.
2. Use a visual management system
Having a visual aid to rely on is a great way to organize an effective Daily Scrum Meeting.
You can use a Kanban board or a Scrum board. The idea is to visualize the different tasks of the project and their progression in the development process or “workflow.”
Learn more about Kanban.
The Scrum board is a simplified version of the Kanban board. It represents a simple picture of the current state of the sprint.
Having a visual aid allows everyone to see, at a glance, what work remains to be done and what has been completed.
My experience has shown me that developers appreciate having their tasks on post-its to move around at each DSM.
I also really like asking everyone to send me an avatar. It can be a character from a movie or a book, an animal, or an object,…
I print these small images as thumbnails. These will represent them in the Scrum Board.
Moving the post-its made the day before is very satisfying and rewarding and selecting the next task by sticking your avatar on it.
3. Attention to concentration
One of the main problems during a DSM is the loss of concentration of the members. In the morning, everyone can quickly get caught up in their preoccupations.
This can be :
– A vital email that needs to be answered as soon as possible;
– Someone coming into the open space to discuss a meeting from the previous day;
– Some urgent bug that appeared during the night and prevented the product from working;
– Or the desire for a coffee we haven’t had the time to enjoy.
Many good reasons push us to put aside the DSM or listen to it with one ear.
It is mainly for maintaining a high level of concentration that the pace of the DSM needs to be sustained and short.
Also, the topics covered must be of universal interest to the team.
Suppose they become personal or concern only a minority of the members. In that case, the Scrum Master should cut off the exchange and propose to devote a dedicated moment to the concerned people.
I also advise you to choose a totem for your team representing the “talking stick.”
The person holding the totem is the only one who is allowed to speak.
They then pass the totem to the next person and so on.
This avoids jokes, interruptions, and remarks that can distract from the primary purpose of the meeting and cause concentration to wane.
4. No laptops or phones
It becomes difficult for members to focus on the meeting if they constantly check messages, answer emails, play games, or go over the previous day’s work.
To avoid this problem, ensure your meetings are away from their computers and that the laptop remains invisible.
This ensures respect for other teammates and also prevents distraction.