The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How Agile Training and Scrum Meetings Can Increase the Productivity in your Workplace
Many companies must deal with rapidly changing requirements and using a systematic approach allows companies to handle this with ease. Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile training software development framework for managing product development. Scrum helps companies:
- Control schedules with ease
- Estimate more effectively
- Increase quality of what they deliver
Each working day should be started with a scrum meeting to make sure your project is always being driven forward. In the past, meetings have gained a poor reputation for wasting time, but my following some Scrum training tips your staff will enjoy purposeful and productive daily meetings.
Stand and be heard.
Rather than all sitting down at your meeting, why not consider a new approach? Standing keeps staff energised and focused on the task at hand. When all your staff stand together and point at the board you’re working on there is little room for distractions and more power is given to the words of those speaking. This works especially well if you point to the board of ideas as you talk.
Ask Questions that Demand Hones Answers
The first three statements you must ask in your daily scrum meeting are:
- Yesterday, I completed
- Today, I will
- The things blocking my progress are
But next, ask “How confident are you that you will get it done today?” This provides your colleagues a chance to honestly answer if their task is doable in the given timeframe. This tactic is extremely useful if staff often speak of having concerns with getting tasks done, but the reality shows the project is not moving forward.
Keep the Timeframe Short and Sweet
If your daily scrum meeting is dragging on over 15 minutes, the chances are your staff are going to become distracted. If there is no perceived value to the meeting your staff will stop listening and become bored. Meetings over 15 minutes may indicate that the team is too big or the time is being used to solve problems, rather than simply highlight them.
Always Begin on Time
Daily meetings are important, as is the systematic approach to them. If a person is late, don’t delay. Beginning promptly shows the high importance of the meeting. This should be true even if it it’s the scrum master who is late.
Delete all Distractions
Every team member’s focus should be on the task at hand, phones should be placed away along with other distractions. This gives the meeting the gravity it deserves and ensures the meeting is kept short and purposeful. What’s more, being focused on a task other than the meeting shows a lack of respect for the other members of the team, creating hostility.
Scrum is not for Solving Problems
Scrum meetings are used for highlight problems, not solving them so after the scrum. Solving problems elongates the time of the meeting and detracts from their purpose. This is especially important if your scrum team is spread across the country and meetings are over Skype/telephone.
The Art of Engagement
We have short attention spans and staff gets bored easily. Ensure your daily scrum is interesting with attention grabbing tactics such as speaking tokens which alert the members whose turn it is to talk. Small acts like this engage your team.
You can Stop Attending
If there is something in a scrum meeting you don’t agree with, you do not have to continue to go. This can be a good way of alerting others that you want change. If the meetings are only to alert others of who is behind schedule, then use your time to get ahead of schedule!
It’s nice to be Important, but it’s more Important to be Nice
Remember, these meetings are designed to be short and productive, but there is always enough time to say thank you at the end of the session. Morale is boosted by a simple “thank you”.