Daily Scrum

What is a Daily Scrum?

Daily scrums are quick meetings held each day at the same time for members of the product development team working on a particular sprint. The team collectively reviews the progress made toward achieving the Sprint Goal.

These meetings are intentionally brief—15 minutes or so—and can follow whichever format the team selects for themselves.

What is the purpose?

Daily scrums help level-set the team and ensure everyone knows what they’re working on for the next day. If things are running behind, resources should get reallocated accordingly. If developers have already completed their assigned tasks, they’ll be given new items from the Sprint Backlog.

When the daily scrum is over, everyone should know if their marching orders have changed, so that everyone is now working on the most critical tasks in the future. Allowing the team to manage this themselves remains true to the self-organizing principles of Agile.

Developers may surface major issues or blockers in this forum. If the team can’t rectify themselves quickly, they may have to dedicate more time to meet a broader audience.

Who attends the meetings?

The product development team is the core group of attendees for daily scrums. But if the Scrum Master or Product Owner are actively working on any development items themselves, they may also participate, but not in a managerial capacity.

The daily scrum is a “players-only” type of meeting. While others may attend, only those actively working on sprint-related tasks can participate in the discussion.

What does scrum look like in Agile?

After going around the group, everyone now knows what everyone’s accomplished. Moreover, they understand what’s next. And if there are any outstanding issues to address to maintain momentum. The Scrum Master typically takes the lead on mitigating any impediments to progress.

What’s the Difference Between a Daily Scrum and a Daily Standup?

Unlike a daily scrum, a daily standup is not part of the official Scrum lexicon or rituals. Although it borrows heavily from Agile principles, daily standups are quick status meetings where the extended team involved in a Sprint provides updates on relevant items.

The “standup” part of this idea isn’t really about what physical position people are in for the meeting, instead of believing that if everyone is standing, they’re less comfortable. The meeting won’t take very long.

However, many organizations interchangeably use “daily scrum” and “daily standup.” While technically incorrect, they usually intend the meeting to follow the “daily scrum” format regardless of what they call it.

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