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13 Aug

Scrum Meetings – Source of Transparency and Inform

Open communication and transparency play crucial role in Scrum projects. Unlike the popular view that most meetings are waste of time, Scrum lays a lot of emphasis on conducting highly focused, time-boxed and effective meetings to allow transparency and free flow of information.

In this article we are going to briefly look at some of the more important meetings in Scrum.

Prioritized Product Backlog Review Meetings

The Product Owner may have multiple and separate meetings with relevant Stakeholder(s), the Scrum Master, and the Scrum Team to ensure that he or she has enough information to make updates to the Prioritized Product Backlog. The intent of the Prioritized Product Backlog Review Meetings is to ensure that User Stories and Acceptance Criteria are understood and are written properly by the Product Owner so that they reflect the actual stakeholder (customer) requirements and priorities; User Stories are understood by everyone in the Scrum Team; and that high priority User Stories are well-refined so that the Scrum Team can properly estimate and commit to such User Stories.

Sprint Planning Meeting

In Sprint Planning Meetings, the Scrum Team gets together to plan the work to be done in the Sprint. The team reviews the Estimated User Stories at the top of the Prioritized Product Backlog. The Product Owner is present during this meeting in case clarification of User Stories or priorities are required. To help ensure that the group stays on topic, this meeting should be Time-boxed, with the standard length limited to two hours per week of Sprint duration. This assists in preventing the tendency to stray into discussions that should actually occur in other meetings, like the Release Planning or Sprint Review Meetings. As part of this meeting the entire Scrum Team will commit to delivering a subset of User Stories from the Prioritized Product Backlog in the Sprint.

Daily Standup Meeting

The Daily Standup Meeting is a short daily meeting, Time-boxed to 15 minutes. Team members assemble to report their progress in the Sprint and plan the day’s activities. The meeting duration is very short, and all members of the Scrum Team are expected to attend. In the Daily Standup Meeting, facilitated by the Scrum Master, each Scrum Team member provides information in the form of answers to three specific questions:

  1. What have I done since the last meeting?
  2. What do I plan to do before the next meeting?
  3. What impediments or obstacles (if any) am I currently facing?

Sprint Review Meeting

The Scrum Core Team members and relevant Stakeholder(s) participate in Sprint Review Meetings to accept the deliverables which meet the User Story Acceptance Criteria and reject unacceptable deliverables. These meetings are convened at the end of every Sprint. The Scrum Team demonstrates the achievements from the Sprint, including the new functionalities or products created. This provides an opportunity for the Product Owner and Stakeholder(s) to inspect what has been completed so far and to determine if any changes should be made in the project or processes in subsequent Sprints. The Sprint Review Meeting is time-boxed to four hours for a one-month Sprint.

 Sprint Retrospect Meeting

During this meeting, the Scrum Team gets together to review and reflect on the previous Sprint in terms of the processes followed, tools employed, collaboration and communication mechanisms, and other aspects relevant to the project. The team discusses what went well during the previous Sprint and what did not go well, the goal being to learn and make improvements in the Sprints to follow. Some improvement opportunities or best practices from this meeting could also be updated as part of the Scrum Guidance Body documents. The Retrospect Sprint Meeting is Time-boxed to 4 hours for a one-month Sprint.

Mike Williams, Direct Consultant