Scrum meetings are an opportunity for teams, management and stakeholders to align during a project.
There are four main types of meetings (sometimes also referred to as Scrum ceremonies) that teams participate in. The four meetings include:
Each meeting has a different purpose, all of which play a key role in the progress and success of the project. Let’s explore what each of these meetings look like and how they are effectively run in more detail.
Firstly, let’s look at Sprint Planning. The main purpose of Sprint planning is to ensure everyone is aligned and to plan out what needs to be completed by the team. This helps ensure things are done right during each Sprint.
The meeting is facilitated by the Scrum Master but is primarily a conversation between the team and the Product Owner. It happens at the start of each Sprint and therefore, comes just after the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective (which we will look at in more detail later) of the previous Sprints.
Sprint Planning usually addresses three key topics; why, what, and how?
The Product Owner is responsible for running through the most important Product Backlog items with the team and reiterating the overall goals and objectives. From this, the team must collaborate on a Sprint Goal and why it is valuable to the stakeholders.
The Development Team then decides which items from the Product Backlog should be included in the current Sprint. They should assign a fixed and maximum amount of time (referred to as time-boxing) for each activity as part of this process.
The team should then prepare an actionable plan to formulate exactly how the work is going to be completed.
The length of each Scrum meeting is usually relative to the length of the Sprint. Sprint Planning should last about 2 hours for every week of the Sprint. For example, for a two-week Sprint, the Sprint Planning meeting should last no longer than 4 hours.
Daily Stand Up
The Daily Stand Up meeting, also known as the Daily Scrum gives the team a chance to review their plan towards the Sprint Goal and identify any potential concerns.
It is generally a 15-minute meeting held at the same time each day and is literally done standing up. Often teams prefer to have it at the start of the day, but it can be at any agreed time as long as it is consistent.
The main purpose of the Daily Stand Up is to ask these three questions:
- What have I achieved since yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What are the obstacles in my way?
Reviewing these questions daily helps to prevent any bottlenecks which might arise and enables the Sprint to stay on track. The Scrum Master and the team of Developers should attend.
At the end of each Sprint, there is a Sprint Review meeting. It is usually a working session where the team of Developers presents the results they have delivered during the Sprint.
The entire Scrum Team and often external stakeholders all attend this meeting. Sprint Reviews act as a key opportunity to collate feedback from the stakeholders. From this feedback, the Scrum Team can collaborate on what action to take next. In other words, it can then be added to a new Product Backlog where it’s reviewed and prioritised during the next Sprint Planning session. The Product Owner is expected to lead this activity.
Usually, the Sprint Review should last about an hour for every week of the Sprint. For example, a two-week sprint should be accompanied by a two-hour review session. This gives the team enough time to cover all the work completed during their last feedback loop.
Lastly, Sprint Retrospective is the final event of the Sprint. Its purpose is to use retrospect to plan ways to increase quality and effectiveness for subsequent Sprints. The team should focus mostly on the following questions:
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- What could be done differently to improve collaboration in the future?
It’s beneficial if the entire Scrum Team can attend the Sprint Retrospective so they can collaborate and constructively criticise the various elements of the Sprint.
As a rule, this concluding meeting is 90 minutes for a two-week Sprint. If a Sprint is a week long, the Retrospective should be around 45 minutes. And if the Sprint runs for an entire month, the meeting should be around three hours long.
Scrum Framework relies on short and regular communication. The above-mentioned Scrum Meetings provide structure and are designed to deliver results.
Every team is different, and there is no perfect process. Think of Scrum Ceremonies similar to the product, they should continue to evolve and develop.