What is a Scrum Meeting, why is it important and what kind of meetings exist?
Continuous exchange at eye level
In Scrum there are a number of meetings, which take place regularly between the participants in the course of the development. They are considered essential components of an agile approach to software or product development. Especially because Scrum postulates the cooperation with a corresponding mindset, it is important to exchange information continuously.
Scrum knows the following meetings – which are also called rituals or events:
- The Sprint Planning serves to clarify the questions “what” is developed in the current Sprint and “how” the agreed requirements are realised. Sprint Planning involves the entire development team, including the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. Stakeholders could also be invited to the planning meeting, but they should be more passive. Among other things, a sprint goal and the implementation of a potentially deliverable increment must be agreed.
- The Daily Scrum is a daily meeting where each developer explains what he has done since yesterday, what he will do today, and what limits him in his work with regard to the agreed sprint goal. Participation in the meeting is mandatory for the development team, in addition the Scrum Master should and the Product Owner could participate. It’s a peer-to-peer exchange that isn’t about blame, responsibility, or evaluating the work of colleagues, but about making the necessary adjustments when needed to ensure the sprint goal is achieved.
- The Sprint Review is a meeting at the end of a sprint to assess and approve the work done in relation to the set sprint goal. The Scrum Guide defines “A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed”. Ideally, the team has completed each sprint backlog item, but more importantly, they have achieved the sprint goal agreed upon in the sprint planning. During the review, only those items are presented that were actually completed according to the Definition of Done.
- A retrospective is a regular event where the development team meets to review the past sprint and improve future team collaboration. The Scrum Guide defines “The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.” It is a meeting where processes, tools, skills, relationships, challenges and experiences are reflected. The feedback offers opportunities for the team as a whole as well as for each individual participant.
- The Scrum of Scrums is a technique for scaling Scrum and is relevant for many larger companies with multiple Scrum teams. It is a meeting of representatives of individual Scrum teams and serves the purpose of exchanging information about the status quo of each team, upcoming activities and possible obstacles to development. The goal of Scrum of Scrums is to harmonise the work of the different Scrum teams and to identify developments of teams that influence other teams in the implementation of their requirements.
Elements for successful Scrum Meetings
There are a number of elements that are essential for the successful conduct of Scrum Meetings: The Timebox defines the timeframe of each meeting. The frequency, start, location and schedule are fixed and maintained. The Definition of Ready and the Definition of Done help while working with Backlog Items. And the Vegas Rule ensures trusting interaction and exchange with each other. It is precisely these elements that ensure that the Scrum Meetings as such are usually seen positively; in contrast to numerous meetings in classic projects or project organisations, which are often regarded as a waste of time.
Even if the Backlog Refinement should be done regularly, it is not called a Scrum Meeting.