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The Ultimate Guide to Scrum Meetings (2020)

The Ultimate Guide to Scrum Meetings (2020)

Want to conduct terrific Scrum meetings?

Most people aren’t thrilled about the everyday meeting

Sure, they’re more fun than a root canal appointment, but that’s about it.

However, a Scrum meeting is no ordinary meeting

It’s the stuff of legends!

Scrum meetings are designed to make sure your team gets s*#t done… for real.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to host one, the meeting do’s and don’ts, and the best Agile tool to ensure your Agile Scrum meetings are a great success.

And soon enough, your team’s going to start saying this after each meeting:

 

This Scrum Guide Contains:

(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)

Let’s begin!

 

What Is A Scrum Meeting?

Scrum meetings are essential elements of the Agile software development process. Also called Scrum ceremonies, they provide the framework for teams to:

  • Set project expectations
  • Get work done efficiently
  • Collaborate effectively
  • Solve problems together

Usually, the product owner and Scrum master schedule and head almost every Scrum meeting.

But wait… who’s a product owner and a Scrum master?

And what’s Agile and Scrum?

Don’t worry; we’ll go over these quickly now. 

However, if you already know these concepts and want to skip to the five types of Scrum meetings, click here.

 

What Is Scrum?

You can’t talk about Scrum meetings without talking about Scrum, right?

Scrum methodology is an Agile project management approach that helps you build terrific products that customers truly love! 

But wait… I thought we were talking about the Scrum framework… why are we talking about Agile?

Because Scrum is a management method derived from the Agile approach!

And a Scrum process proceeds just like an Agile process.

In the Agile framework, you break your project down into smaller software development cycles called sprints lasting one to four weeks. 

Once a sprint is completed, you present a working model of the software to your customers. Then, you use their feedback to improve the product in a future sprint

These steps are repeated until you’ve completed all your cycles and have crafted a final product that users can’t stop raving about!

 

What Is A Scrum Team?

They are the badasses in the project management neighborhood!

A team following the Scrum methodology is called a Scrum team

In Scrum, self-organizing and cross-functional Agile teams work together to finish a product.

The Scrum team includes cool folks like:

  • Product Owner: the product owner creates a vision for the final software by understanding customers’ needs. They also relay customer feedback to the Scrum development team.
  • Scrum master: the Scrum Master role is similar to that of a project manager or a Scrum trainer. They ensure that everyone is working together, and the Scrum process is running smoothly. Ideally, this team member should become a certified Scrum master via a course from groups like the Scrum Alliance. 
  • Development Team: it’s a small group of employees with cross-functional skill sets. They work together to create the final product. The Agile Scrum team can include graphic designers, coders, writers, and UI/UX designers. 

Note: Ideally, a Scrum team should have no more than 10 members. Large teams must be split into smaller Scrum teams, everyone working towards the same goal.

 

The Five Different Types Of Agile Scrum Meetings

I admit it would be hard to keep you pinned to your seat with just one Scrum meeting.

It’s like if Friends was the only show available on Netflix!

But we have five

Now we’re talking, right?

During a sprint, the product owner or the Scrum master conducts five types of Scrum meetings:

In each meeting (also known as a Scrum event), the Agile team huddles in front of a physical or virtual board to discuss the Scrum meeting agenda

Let’s now take a closer look at the five key meetings in the Scrum framework:

1. Sprint planning meeting

You can’t start your project without proper planning, right? 

The sprint planning meeting kicks off the sprint.

This Scrum meeting makes sure that the whole team knows what tasks to work on during a sprint. 

A. What happens in these meetings?

Let’s say you’re developing the ultimate massage chair for George Costanza from the show Seinfeld!

Before the sprint meeting begins, the product owner creates a product backlog, a list of items the team needs to work on to develop the chair. 

You know, stuff like:

  • A remote control
  • Bluetooth
  • An answering machine so that George can ignore Kramer’s calls!

The product owner should also be able to answer any questions that the team may have about their work. 

So during this sprint meeting, the product owner meets up with the whole team to review the product backlog items.

They discuss what product backlog items should be worked on during a specific sprint. This new list of items is called the sprint backlog, and it’ll have a specific sprint goal

The sprint goal should be a working model of the software that can be shown to the product owner. 

At the end of the sprint meeting, the entire Scrum development team has to agree on the sprint goal they have set for themselves and make a sprint commitment to achieving it.

B. Who attends this Scrum ceremony?

The product owner, Scrum Master, and the development team.

C. How long do they last?

The length of the sprint planning meeting varies with the sprint duration. Ideally, you should multiply the sprint length by 2, and host a meeting for those many hours.

For a 2-week sprint, it should last around 4 hours, and for a 3-week sprint, it should last no more than 6 hours. Ideally, try to spread these meetings over multiple days to ensure that everyone remains focused.

D. Sprint planning do’s

  • Assign tasks
    Break down user stories (software features) into smaller tasks. You can then easily assign them to the correct team members.
  • Collaborate
    Encourage your dev team to talk about their tasks or bugs that need to be fixed. This ensures that they are clear about what they need to do in the sprint. 

E. Sprint planning don’ts

  • Don’t get sidetracked

Your development team should only discuss the tasks that the project owner has mentioned for a specific sprint.
No discussing what Netflix shows your team members watched recently!

  • Don’t ignore team capacity

The Scrum master should be aware of their team’s availability, holidays, and vacations, to estimate the amount of work that can actually be done. 

F. How ClickUp helps sprint planning meetings

Most modern team leaders use Agile project management tools to make meetings focused and organized.

Let’s see how an Agile tool like ClickUp can help you conduct an effective Scrum meeting.

But what’s ClickUp?

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated Agile project management tool. 

Used by 100,000+ teams from startups to giants like Google, Airbnb, Netflix, and more, this project management tool has everything you need to run rock-solid Scrum meetings!

Whether it’s keeping track of your project’s progress, managing sprint tasks, or creating reports, this Scrum software can handle it all!

It has all the project management features you need to manage your Agile team, like a sprint burndown chart, real-time reports, and even a Scrum board

Sprint planning is almost like preparing for a battle!

Before laying out the plan, you need to rally the troops and charge them up for the sprint ahead!

Here’s how ClickUp can help you boost team preparation before the big sprint:

Goals

Sprint planning is all about setting a goal, right?

That’s why ClickUp has a comprehensive goal tracking solution for your Scrum development team.

In ClickUp, Goals are high-level containers that are broken down into smaller Targets.

In the massage chair example we discussed above, your Goal could be to “develop a massage chair”, and your Targets could be “develop the remote control” and “decide on the remote’s color scheme”.

Essentially, Targets are tasks or sub-goals that have to be accomplished to reach your Goals!

For example, if your sprint backlog has 15 tasks to be completed, you can add these ‘Targets’ to your sprint’s overall Goal. 

As your Agile marketing or software development teams complete each product backlog item, ClickUp automatically calculates your sprint’s progress percentage. This gives you a quick view of how the sprint is progressing in real-time.

Rad, right?

2. Daily standup meeting

Have you ever tried to start your workday without attempting to create a to-do list?

You’ll only be confused about what to do, like these two folks here: 

You don’t know what to expect, and you might end up wasting time working on unnecessary tasks

That’s why the standup meeting (also known as daily Scrum) is the most important meeting of the day. 

PS: Remote teams can simply convert this into a Scrum call!

A. What happens in these meetings?

In this meeting, the entire team gathers around the Scrum board and creates a plan for each day’s work. It’s also used as a status update meeting.

Each individual member talks about their progress towards the sprint goal. This ensures that the entire team knows how they’re placed.

Each team member should answer these three Scrum questions:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you complete today?
  • Are you facing any issues?

The Scrum Master should identify any bottlenecks and quickly provide solutions so that the team can focus on delivering work.

Note: If you have multiple Scrum teams, all working on the same project, you’ll also have a Scrum of Scrums meeting. Just like the daily Scrum, the Scrum of Scrums is also held regularly to discuss progress/issues. 

B. Who attends this Scrum ceremony?

The Scrum Master and the development team.

Note: In the Scrum of Scrums meeting, a representative from each team attends the meeting. It’s optional for the Scrum master and product owner to take part in it. 

C. How long do they last?

This status meeting shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

D. Daily standup meeting do’s

  • Limit time
    Keep a strict time limit of 15 minutes. Use stopwatches to ensure that each development team member talks for a set amount of time.
  • Remain standing
    There is a reason why this daily meeting is called a standup! The whole team needs to stay on their feet the entire time, as it reduces rambling and keeps them focused.

E. Daily standup meeting don’ts

  • Don’t delay the daily meeting
    The Scrum master should start the meeting at the set time, even if some members haven’t shown up. Those who miss it will have to try harder to attend the meeting in the future.
  • Don’t introduce new ideas
    The Scrum team should limit their discussion to the current sprint. Introducing new topics will divert attention away from the Scrum meeting agenda.

F. How ClickUp helps in a daily standup meeting

Let’s face it: standups are designed to be extremely short

Nope, you can’t squeeze in a discussion about that great new coffee place!

If your entire team has 7 members, then each member will get only 2 minutes to discuss their entire workday!

So how can your entire team communicate effectively within 15 minutes?

Just use project management software like ClickUp to speed up your meeting to have an effective daily Scrum.

Board view

ClickUp’s Board view is a virtual Scrum or Kanban board that visualizes your Scrum sprint tasks. 

The ClickUp Scrum board makes a daily standup meeting way quicker.

How?

Before the daily Scrum meeting, set up this board, so your team gets a clear view of their sprint progress.

It allows your team to see what tasks have been completed and what’s taking them a lot of time. 

This minimizes discussion time during the daily Scrum meeting, as your team doesn’t have to mention what tasks they are working on — they just have to highlight it!

While ClickUp lets you customize your task stages, most teams prefer their board to have these columns for task stages: 

  • In Progress: what tasks need to be initiated
  • Doing: what’s being worked upon
  • Review: what tasks are being checked for quality

However, that isn’t the only benefit of ClickUp’s Board View.

It’s also super easy to use!

Once you’re done with a task, just drag and drop it into a suitable stage column. This way, you can quickly move tasks around as soon as they pass through stages!

3. Product backlog refinement 

Sprints are like tracks that a DJ churns out at your favorite nightclub!

There is never a break between sprints. Once one sprint ends, another begins.

That’s where the backlog refinement meeting comes in. 

This meeting is held near the end of one sprint to ensure the sprint backlog is locked and loaded for the next sprint.

A. What happens in these meetings?

Like the sprint planning meeting, team members and the product owner come together to discuss the product backlog items. 

The product owner needs to highlight what product features are a priority for customers and must be developed immediately.  

So if George really wants the massage chair to play some relaxing music, you need to work on that!

The product owner breaks down these items into user stories that have to be worked on in the next sprint. At the end of the meeting, the project team knows the customer’s new requirements and the crucial items to be delivered in the following sprint. 

This Scrum meeting is often optional but is recommended.

Why?

It ensures that your team spends less time on sprint planning meetings and more time on delivering value.

B. Who attends this Scrum ceremony?

The Scrum master, product owner, and a few members of the development team.

C. How long do they last?

It should last around 2 hours for a two-week sprint, and for a three-week sprint, it should last no more than 3 hours.

D. Product backlog refinement meeting do’s

  • Keep it simple

Your product development team might want to add multiple suggestions to improve the backlog. However, you can’t do everything in a single meeting — limit it to the most essential tasks. 

Even binge-watching Seinfield has limits, right?

  • Stick to your goal

What product features do you want to tackle in the next sprint

Keep your Scrum sprint goals in mind, and ensure that everyone understands how they can contribute to these goals. 

E. Product backlog refinement meeting don’ts

  • Don’t invite EVERY development team member

As thrilling as Scrum meetings might be, avoid calling everyone all the time!

The product owner is the only person who must be present at all times. If they need input from the development team, they should only invite the necessary team members. 

F. How ClickUp helps in product backlog refinement meetings

Product backlog refinement is essential ‘Marie Kondo-ing’ your backlog! 

After every sprint, your team gets new suggestions, bug fixes, or user stories from user feedback. You need to clear the clutter and identify the backlog items that add value to your product.

But how do you do it?

Here’s how ClickUp can help you lay the groundwork for an efficient backlog refinement meeting.

Sprint Lists

Your product backlog is a huge list of items that include user stories, tasks, bugs, and user requirements.

Organizing and refining this list sounds like a herculean task, right?

Well, it is if you’re doing it manually.

But with ClickUp, it’s a piece of cake! Even if you aren’t Marie Kondo!

ClickUp allows you to see the entire product backlog in just one screen!

ClickUp can also create a checklist for all your Agile projects, tasks, subtasks, and even your user stories. This helps you break down your tasks and deliverables easily.

4. Sprint review meeting

Finally, we reach the end of a sprint cycle

(Drumroll!)

In a sprint review, you show all the completed sprint work to the stakeholders. 

A. What happens in these meetings?

The Scrum team showcases a working prototype of the software (known as a sprint demo) to each user and stakeholder.

The team also reports:

  • What tasks have been completed
  • What user stories have been addressed
  • What features have been added

By the way, don’t expect this reaction from your customers!

Look at this as an opportunity to get honest feedback about the sprint cycle!

B. Who attends this Scrum ceremony?

Key stakeholders, like investors and customers, attend these ceremonies. Other attendees include the Scrum master, product owner, and development team.

C. How long does a sprint review meeting last?

A sprint review should last one hour per week of the sprint. For example, a two-hour sprint review should be scheduled for a two-week sprint.

D. Sprint review meeting do’s

  • Spend time on rehearsal

Since members from outside the Scrum team will be present, your Scrum master needs to prepare a presentation for the meeting. This presentation should ideally be simplified so that the stakeholder isn’t confused.

  • Focus on product value

Your team should not just prove that the product works. They should discuss how it adds business value and helps users.

E. Sprint review meeting don’ts 

  • Don’t ignore feedback

Feedback received during the sprint review should not be confused with criticism. Your team of developers should value the feedback and develop it into future product backlog items.

F. How ClickUp helps in sprint review meetings

Showcasing your sprint goal to the stakeholders is not enough. 

You may also need to explain why your team chose to work on certain features in the current Scrum sprint.

ClickUp allows the stakeholder to get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at your project. 

Here’s how:

Custom Access Rights

ClickUp allows you to share your project files, folders, and task lists with anyone. 

It’s all up to you!

 

You have complete control over what you want to share with your stakeholders or customers. 

You can decide what they can and can’t do inside ClickUp by setting permissions’. 

Here a few types of permissions you can set for people outside your team:

  • Can view: guests can view project details but can’t interact
  • Can comment: guests can add comments on the tasks and task lists
  • Can edit: guests can edit tasks but can’t create tasks
  • Create and edit: guests can create their own tasks and subtasks
  • Can delete: guests can delete tasks that they did not create

5. Sprint retrospective meeting

Don’t get confused!

Despite the similar names, sprint reviews and retrospectives are two entirely different meetings!

While the sprint review is an external showcase of the team’s work, a sprint retrospective meeting is an opportunity for the dev team to discuss their performance in a sprint cycle internally. 

A. What happens in these meetings?

After a review, the Scrum team gathers to reflect on how the work was carried out.

Each individual member should give their perspective on these three Scrum questions:

  • What process went well over the last sprint?
  • What tasks didn’t go so well?
  • What could be improved?

The Scrum Master then gives their feedback and suggestions to improve the team’s performance. 

Remember, Scrum training prioritizes continuous improvement, and this Scrum meeting helps the team learn from its mistakes and get better.

B. Who attends this Scrum ceremony?

The Scrum Master and the development team.

C. How long do they last?

Just like a sprint review, for a two-week sprint, a sprint retrospective should last around 2 hours, and for a three-week sprint, it should last no more than 3 hours.

D. Sprint retrospective meeting do’s

  • Plan ahead

Your team should agree on the Scrum meeting agenda beforehand. This can save time, as you can spend more time on solving issues and less time on reporting issues. 

  • Create a safe space

One of the most important Scrum principles is to get better together. Your team should not hesitate to speak up about their issues and concerns. 

E. Sprint retrospective meeting don’ts 

  • Don’t blame your team

Since the team discusses problems in the retrospective meeting, members might blame each other for the issues that occurred. The product manager should avoid blaming developers as your team has to adopt a positive attitude in order to improve.

We’re all in this together, right?

F. How ClickUp helps in sprint retrospective meetings

Since a sprint retrospective meeting needs to take stock of your team’s performance, you need a way to track it.

Luckily, ClickUp comes with tons of team reports to help you follow the Scrum methodology

  1. Task Completed Report

This report displays the tasks completed by each Scrum team member. It holds your team accountable for their work.

  1. Worked On Report

This report highlights the tasks each development team member has been a part of. You can identify which team is overloaded with tasks, and which Scrum team member has a lighter workload.

  1. Workspace Points Report

Who says work has to be dull?

This report gamifies the Scrum process to motivate your team to finish more tasks.

This report highlights:

  • Cleared: the number of notifications cleared
  • Comments added: the number of comments added to tasks
  • Resolved comments: the number of resolved comments
  • Tasks completed: the number of tasks completed and closed
  • Worked on: the number of tasks that a user has been a part of
  • Total: the sum of all of the numbers from each column

To boost your team’s motivation, you can also reward the Scrum team member with the highest number of points in the sprint!

  1. Who’s Behind Report

Want to know which team members need to push harder?

This report reveals how many unfinished or ‘Work In Progress’ tasks each member has.

  1. Time Tracked Report

Do you know how much time your team members spend on a task? 

This report gives you detailed time tracking insights and determines which tasks are causing bottlenecks.

  1. Time Estimated vs. Time Spent

According to the Agile methodology, every minute counts

You need to make sure that your team can deliver the sprint goal by the deadline, right? 

After every sprint, you can see what tasks are taking longer to complete than anticipated. This will help you identify potential bottlenecks and make a better estimate for your upcoming sprint

But that’s not all of ClickUp’s features!

This Agile tool and remote team management software also provides unique features like:

 

Conclusion

I admit it.

Given a choice between a Star Wars premiere and an Agile Scrum meeting, you might choose the former.

But not George Costanza! 

Because once he sat in that massage chair, he realized the power of the Scrum framework!

Scrum and Agile teams know that Scrum meetings are essential for increased collaboration and supercharged sprint performance. And using Scrum project management software like ClickUp during your Agile meetings can ensure that your team is on track to crush their sprint goals.

So why not download ClickUp today and supercharge your next Agile Scrum meeting to leave team members looking like this:

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