Better Meetings

Everything You Need to Know About Scrum Meetings

As a product manager, communicating asynchronously with your team about the different product development stages can be tricky. There’s a limit to the level of technical complexity you can convey via a text message or async video. 

Even the sixth principle of the Agile Manifesto says, “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.” This is why agile product teams conduct regular scrum meetings to stay on top of everything and nip issues in the bud. But if you’re unsure of how these meetings work, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we'll go over the concept of scrum meetings, their types, the goals of scrum meetings, and how you can use AI to conduct them effectively. 

What is a scrum meeting?

Scrum meetings are usually quick check-in meetings with the product team and other stakeholders involved in a development project. While it's often confused with daily stand-up meetings, it includes several types of meetings the scrum team holds. The State of Agile report found that 87% of responders leverage Scrum as part of their process, making it one of the most used agile frameworks. In a Scrum meeting, you’ll find several stakeholders that run the meeting. They include:

  • Scrum master: The meeting facilitator who keeps everyone in check and ensures the meeting doesn't go off on a tangent.
  • Product owner: The project manager who manages the whole team and activities of the product development project.
  • Development team: The team responsible for executing the development of the product.

Additionally, these meetings might include other stakeholders, like those from the leadership team or individuals from other departments depending on the topic of discussion.

The goals of a scrum meeting

Agile processes require companies to create, review, and iterate using quick development cycles. For instance, the 12th principle of the Agile manifesto says, "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly."

This is why scrum meetings have one goal: regular check-in to ensure process improvement. Here are a few underlying objectives that help scrum teams achieve that:

  • Get daily progress updates and stay on top of everything: Only when scrum masters know what's going on can they find issues in the project. These updates include what was accomplished since the last meeting, what is planned for the day, and any roadblocks that must be addressed.
  • Highlight blockers and remove any disconnect between members: Apart from status updates, you can identify roadblocks that slow down the project and delay development. Once blockers are identified, the team collaborates to overcome these barriers by discussing possible solutions with other scrum team members.
  • Facilitate continuous improvement to ensure agile development: Regularly reviewing progress allows you to adjust your approach accordingly. The faster you iterate, the faster you find out what works and what doesn't.
  • Ensure accountability and encourage collaboration: By publicly committing to specific tasks and deadlines, team members are held accountable for their work, which helps to promote productivity and high-quality work.
  • Promote an adaptable and flexible culture: By gathering daily progress updates and highlighting blockers and emerging issues, an agile team will have the tools they need to adapt to changes in plans or scope and to ensure that the project stays on track. It promotes flexibility while working—resulting in an agile culture.
  • Ensure alignment with overall project goals: Scrum meetings also allow stakeholders to determine if the inner workings of the project contribute to the overall goal. It’s easy to veer off track as the project progresses, so this process keeps everyone in check.

5 types of scrum meetings

There are five different types of scrum meetings that are held in an organization:

Sprint Planning

The purpose of a sprint planning meeting is to plan the various stages of the product development process and assign roles to each stakeholder. It lays the roadmap for the entire project, ensuring everybody is on the same page.

Attendees: Scrum master, development team, and product owner

Duration: 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the discussion points

When: At the beginning of the project

Daily Standup

Daily scrum meetings are conducted every business day to catch up on everyone's progress and clarify any issues they face. It ensures that the project is on track and moves as quickly as possible.

Attendees: Scrum master, development team, and product owner

Duration: About 15 minutes a day

When: Every day

Sprint Review

Also known as the "iteration review" it involves a brief meeting where the software development team presents what has been completed in the specific sprint. The goal is to get feedback on the completed work and decide the next steps for the project.

Attendees: Scrum master, development team, product owner, leadership

Duration: 45 minutes for each sprint

When: At the end of the sprint

Sprint Retrospective

A retrospective meeting involves reviewing the work from previous sprints and identifying areas for improvement. The areas of concern include the team's dynamics, processes, tools, and communication. Once the team determines it, they chart a course for future sprints.

Attendees: Scrum master, product owner, and development team

Duration: 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the discussion points

When: At the end of the sprint

Backlog Refinement Meeting

The team reviews and updates the product backlog items to ensure that it reflects the current priorities and requirements of the project. You can use this meeting to break down larger items into smaller, actionable tasks.

Attendees: Scrum master and product owner

Duration: 60 minutes

When: In the middle of the project 

Agenda template for scrum meetings

A recent report found that 28.6% of employees say that meetings that drifted away from the original meeting agenda were the leading cause of unpleasant meetings. To ensure that’s not the case in your next scrum meeting, here’s an agenda template you can use:

1. Initial discussion based on the type of meeting:

A. Sprint progress review:

  • What did the team achieve in the last sprint?
  • What went well during the sprint?
  • What didn't go well and why?

B. Sprint planning:

  • What work needs to be done in the upcoming sprint?
  • What are the priorities for the next sprint?
  • How will the team approach the work in the next sprint?

2. Discussion on blockers:

  • Are there any obstacles that are preventing the team from progressing?
  • How can the team overcome these obstacles?

3. Discussion on specific tasks:

  • What did you work on yesterday?
  • Have you successfully managed to finish them?
  • What are your goals for today?
  • Why are you prioritizing these tasks?

4. Team coordination:

  • Are there any dependencies or inter-team coordination required?
  • Are there any team members who need support or help from others?
  • How close are we to hitting our goals?

5. Wrap-up:

  • Does the team have any final thoughts or comments?
  • Is there anything else that needs to be discussed before ending the meeting?

This is just a sample template, and you can modify it to suit your team's specific needs. Also, it's vital to timebox the meeting to 15 minutes or less to ensure everyone stays focused and engaged.

How to conduct effective scrum meetings with AI

As a scrum master, it's challenging to focus on what every meeting participant says and keep track of who needs to do what. To ensure that everybody knows what they need to do and you have a record of every meeting, use an AI-powered note-taker instead.

Supernormal can help! It captures your scrum meeting, whether it's on Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams and automatically transcribes the entire meeting, enabling you to focus on active listening and facilitating the conversation successfully. You don't have to worry about taking detailed notes and can fully engage in the meeting.

Also, with the library of meeting templates available, the note-taker generates a summary, a list of action items, and tasks so each stakeholder knows what needs to be done. Ultimately, it saves you the time it would take to create a summary from memory or decipher any notes you took.

Conduct productive scrum meetings with Supernormal

Scrum meetings are a regular occurrence at every company that does agile project management. It gives the team a structured approach to planning, executing, and reviewing work. These meetings are essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

While you're conducting a scrum meeting, don’t waste time taking notes and collecting action items. Instead use Supernormal to capture, transcribe, and summarize your meetings.

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