5 Types of Scrum Meetings with 11 Best Practices

by Elina D

Scrum Meeting Types

Scrum is probably the most popular Agile application, where sprints (an iteration, a repeatable work cycle) are used to improve teamwork, communications, and speed on a project. Scrum gained much popularity due to the concept of daily stand-up meetings, but many other types of meetings are recommended as part of a Scrum approach, such as reviews, retrospectives, planning, etc.

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Scrum Meetings

Sprint Planning Meeting

Why: The purpose of the Sprint Planning meeting is to agree (and commit to) what can be delivered in the upcoming sprint as well as how will the teamwork achieve it, based on the team’s velocity, capacity, and duration of the sprint. In short, its purpose is to plan and prepare for the upcoming sprint. The meeting's key outputs are a spring goal (what does the team want to achieve by the end of the sprint) and a sprint backlog (list of the product backlog items and related tasks completed in the sprint).

What: The agenda of the Sprint Planning should include reviewing the sprint duration, defining the sprint goal, reviewing the team’s capacity and velocity, defining the sprint backlog.

Who: The meeting is facilitated by the Scrum Master, where the Product Owner confirms the priority and details of the product backlog items and the entire Development team, which determines the effort required to complete the sprint.

Read goals of a Sprint Planning Meeting and its best practices.

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Daily Stand-Up Meeting

Why: The Daily Stand-up meeting, also known as Daily Scrum, is used to share information between the team, preventing critical knowledge or updates from falling through the cracks. Being a daily meeting, usually in the mornings and limited to 15 minutes, where all participants stand up, contributes to team cohesion and focus. While theory recommends daily meetings, in practice, depending on the project's nature, the frequency can be reduced, be decided by the Scrum Master.

What: The Daily Stand-up's agenda involves each participant answering 3 questions: a) what did you do yesterday, b) what will you do today, c) are there any obstacles in your way. Any follow-up discussions, like problem-solving, are taken offline.

Who: Only the Development Team and Scrum Master attend this meeting. While the Product Owner can join, s/he is not expected to contribute to the meeting, only observe.

Sprint Review Meeting

Why: While the Sprint Planning meeting is held at the beginning of the newsprint, the sprint review meeting is held at the end of a sprint to assess the project against the sprint goal and allow the team to show what has been accomplished, usually as a demo of the new features. The meeting is intended to gather feedback and promote collaboration, resulting in an updated product backlog used for the next sprint.

What: The agenda for a Sprint Review Meeting includes setting the scene by highlighting what was the sprint goal, present what is going to be demonstrated, demo the new features, close the meeting with the updated product backlog.

Who: Participants in this meeting typically include the Development Team, the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and any key stakeholders invited by the Product Owner, such as management or customers.

Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Why: The Sprint Retrospective meeting is held at the very end of a sprint and enables a period of critical reflection by the team on how the sprint went and what can be done to improve working to make the next sprint more productive. While the focus of the sprint review is on what the team is building, the retrospective looks at how the team builds it and what lessons can be gathered.

What: The agenda of a Sprint Retrospective covers three questions to be answered by each participant: a) what went well during the sprint and we should continue doing, b) what went wrongdoing the sprint and we should stop doing, and c) what could we start doing differently to improve. Finally, a list of commitments to the next sprint is defined.

Who: Attendees of this meeting are the entire team, including the Product Owner and the Scrum Master, who puts together a list of prioritized and actionable commitments to the next sprint resulting from the retrospective.

Check Out Our article on Sprint Retrospective meeting template with agenda.

Backlog Grooming/Refinement Meeting

Why: The Backlog Refinement, also known as grooming, is actually an ongoing activity that should be led by the Product Owner with the purpose of better clarifying what is entailed in each of the product backlog items, as these are usually too large or poorly defined. However, it may be beneficial for large sprints to have a separate time-boxed Backlog Refinement Meeting near the end of the sprint to ensure the backlog is ready for the next sprint. By having this additional checkpoint meeting, the Product Owner can work with the team to clarify assumptions and answer questions in advance of the Sprint Planning meeting, enabling the Sprint Planning to later be kept focused and using as much information as possible.

What: The Backlog Refinement meeting agenda includes reviewing the product backlog and questions and answers for each product backlog item in preparation for the Sprint Planning meeting.

Who: This meeting is led by the Product Owner, who can invite whoever in the Development team to decompose the product backlog items in the sprint discussion.

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Scrum Meetings Best Practices

Daily Stand-ups / Scrum Meetings Best Practices

Daily stand-ups can be very effective in managing a project but can also be very challenging at times to manage. If the stand-ups are not planned and managed well, they could lead to people wasting time. If the team feels it is a waste of time attending these meetings, they will stop coming to these meetings. Here are 11 best practices that will help a Scrum Master effectively manage this meeting.

1. Fixed Talking Points

The first question and the second question are about the project-related tasks that were done yesterday and what will be done today. This gives everyone an idea about what that team is working on. Impediments are nothing but roadblocks or issues that a particular team member is facing. Examples of impediments are " Server access not set up," " unplanned environment outages," " functionality not working," etc.

2. Scrum Master In Control

The scrum master must be in control of the meeting throughout the time. If anybody deviates from the above talking points, then the scrum master should bring the discussion back on track.

3. Same time and same place every day

It is important that the meeting is conducted at the same place and time every day. The meeting has to be done daily to be effective. Ensure that you send out a recurring meeting invite with the talking points, time, and place. The first few times, people will come a bit late or disorganized, but once the meeting is running for a couple of weeks, people will turn up without reminders. Also, choose a wall or board that is visible to others in the office or floor to know things are really moving.

4. Always stick to 15 Minutes Meeting

The daily scrum meeting should be wrapped up in 15 mins max every day. Any detailed discussions should be taken on the side. The scrum master must enforce these rules so that people don't waste others' time.

5. Meeting Rules Notice

It is a good idea to have all the basic rules displayed near the meeting area. It can be a simple printout with the rules listed as simple bullet points.

6. Full Team must attend

All the people from the project team must attend. Generally, it takes a day or two for people to get used to the meeting, so be patient. If someone is not attending, then it is good to remind them by calling them or giving them a tap on the shoulder by going to their desk. If someone is missing the stand-up regularly, then it is better to escalate the issue. The full team includes the product owner.

7. Only One Conversation or No side conversations

There will be people with the nasty habit of starting side conversations during stand-ups from time to time. The scrum needs to remind everyone from time to time that only one conversion needs to happen at a time.

8. Always move cards /statues during the meeting

Team members should move cards or update statues only during the meeting, so everyone is aware.
This will also ensure the scrum master is aware of what task is actually progressing. If a scrum master sees that team member does not move the statues for a few days, they can check with the team member to see if everything is right.

9. Review the backlog every day

The scrum master should review the backlog every single day with the team. It is also good to make any updates in the front on the backlog to be aware of changes to the backlog.

10. Done is actually done

A scrum master must define what does completing tasks include. Depending on the type of task, the documentation and process that needs to be followed will vary. For example, if we are talking about a Test Case execution, the team member should ensure that even the documentation and relevant sign-off are completed with the actual execution of the test. Similarly, for a UI Design, it is important that with actual design completion, the documentation, review, and sign-offs are complete. So the scrum master must ensure all the required checks are complete before the item is marked as complete.

11. Leaving items/cards in the done column

This is a major morale booster for the team. When you move items to the done column, it is a good idea to leave them there for at least a few days. Everyone gets a sense of achievement when they see many done items on the scrum board. You can leave the items as long as you can but necessary to leave them there forever. Many times people who pass by also notice the progress and always keen on items in the done column. It gives a clear picture to everyone of what the project team has achieved.

Scrum Meeting
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