In Scrum, a company will implement agile team meetings called the “daily scrum” or “daily scrum standups.” These meetings are usually short – around 15 minutes – and are meant to set the context for the team’s’ work. These meetings are at the core of the agile development process. There are tons of people putting out great articles about best scrum meeting practices, but today we are going to focus on the biggest mistakes people make when leading scrum meetings.

shutterstock_652674415

Arriving late.

Scrum meetings are important because they get your team on task for the day. Agile development is all about staying focused and constantly improving your product. Scrum meetings are short for a reason – your teams need to be working. Many people are used to walking in 5-10 minutes late to a meeting, but arriving late can be detrimental to these daily meetings.

Since daily scrum standups are only 15 minutes long, arriving late can throw an entire meeting or even day off. Start on time no matter who is in the room. This will send the message that tardiness will not be tolerated. Here are some ways to improve punctuality in your team members:

  • Recognize members who are always on time.
  • Start right away and don’t back track when new members walk in the room.
  • Give important updates right at the beginning.
  • Send out reminders 10 minutes before your meeting.

Getting off-task.

shutterstock_308314886

With everyone in the room at one time, it will be easy to start getting off-task. Do everything in your power to keep your team focused. This isn’t the time to talk extensively about your projects. Daily scrum meetings are all about problem identification and work delegation.

Who is going to work on what projects?

What problems are arising in your projects?

Do you need help?

How can we best move forward?

What is the status of this project?

Daily scrum meetings are update-driven and should be action-oriented. Make sure your team understands the goals of your meetings by discussing objectives of your daily scrum meetings. Getting everyone on the same page will keep your team members focused and productive.

Being complacent.

There’s a reason these meetings are called “daily scrum standups.” You shouldn’t be sitting down during them! Many experts suggest standing up during your meetings to keep team members active and involved. Because the meeting is so short, it’s crucial everyone is contributing and staying engaged. Try standing up during your daily meeting and see if it affects participation and morale!

  • Keep morale up during your meetings. Positive attitudes all around!
  • Try standing to keep the blood flowing and people contributing!

Having a hierarchy.

No one should be leading your daily scrum meetings. These standups are meant to be collaborative and short. Since they’re update-driven, everyone should be contributing their piece to the group. Having a hierarchy can lead to one person talking too much and not everyone getting to share their updates. Emphasize teamwork and collaboration during these meetings to set up a culture where everyone is being productive and proactive.

Not listening.

shutterstock_421328839

15 minutes is not long! It’s easy to check out for a second and feel like you missed the entire meeting. It’s especially important to listen during these meetings because this is where team members need to be asking for help to complete projects, partner up, and get advice. This isn’t some meeting just meant to be there as a formality. Daily scrum meetings are all about building your best product and bringing out the best in your team members, so listen up and get to work!