The daily coordination meeting (also known as “daily stand-up” or “daily scrum”) is the activity where the whole team coordinates their activities for the next day.
This meeting is the responsibility of the whole team, each member sharing their current work situation with the rest of the team.
It is a quick, focused, and highly collaborative meeting and it results in a shared understanding of where the overall work is at, and that any impediments have been identified.
Why to Do This Practice
The purpose of the daily coordination is to communicate progress, identify impediments, and create teamwork. It is not intended for solving problems; problem-solving can be done afterwards, offline, in smaller groups.
Short coordination meetings are efficient ways to ensure that all team members and other stakeholders understand the value of what they are doing and remain focused on the most valuable work. They enable early identification of issues so that they can be addressed as early as possible. There is an element of team building that comes from the team interactions.
Who Does This Practice?
Here are the roles involved in this practice:
- Team lead
- Team members
- Product owner, who facilitates requirements gathering and organizes the initial project backlog.
- (Optionally) Stakeholders and other interested parties (Observers)
What to Do
Initially, establish a fixed schedule for the daily coordination meetings. It is important that all team members participate as much as possible and keeping the meetings on a fixed schedule help planning other activities around them.
In each meeting, make sure to keep the team’s work coordination and visualization controls up to date (task boards or other ways the team keeps track of and visualizes their work)
The team may take different approaches to updating their work. Some teams prefer to update their work boards prior to the meeting and just “talk to the new state”. Other teams prefer to update their boards during the meeting, which also creates an opportunity to discuss and share the work involved in getting to the new state as well as visualizes progress for the rest of the team.
As new work (new stories) is about to be started, make sure that it is ready (by definition of ready, if it exists) and that everyone involved fully understands the work involved. (This may have involved a smaller group “swarming” to figure out its details)
The team’s coordination board is the focal point of this meeting, and it should be accessible to the whole team in the meeting, whether a physical board or electronic board is used.
Follow the considerations for daily coordination.
Here are important notes.
- It is important that the meeting starts at the scheduled time.
- If the team is distributed/remote, also make sure that electronic meeting facilities are readily available, and that everyone can see each other.
- During the meeting encourage team members to “volunteer” their information (as opposed to Team Lead pointing out people one after the other).
- Either prior to or during the meeting, team members update their progress.
- Team members that report completed work identify what they will be working on next.
- At the end of the meeting, all stories and tasks shall be up to date.
- Capture any impediments identified in the meeting, and make sure each has an owner.
Disciplined Agile® Delivery (DAD) describes process goals to help with daily coordination:
Each team member is expected to speak, and they should speak to the whole team.
The team is not reporting to the team lead; the team lead’s role is to facilitate the conversation but not to lead the session. Team members should be brief, courteous, answer questions succinctly.
Team members should be ready to help each other out to complete ongoing work. The overall priority is to complete stories in progress before starting new stories, so helping on open tasks should be prioritized over starting new ones.
Here are issues to consider:
- What if the team falls behind? The iteration plan is just that: a plan. When the team determines it is falling behind, it should not just hope it will catch up. It should let the Product Owner know so he/she can prepare to remove stories from the iteration if necessary. Be hesitant to open any new stories until those in process are done (a good practice anyway) in case not all the stories get completed.
- What if the team goes faster than expected? If the team looks to complete its iteration ahead of time the team should consider bringing in new stories into the iteration from the backlog.
As a team lead, pay attention to these issues:
- Is status of stories and tasks kept up to date?
- Did team members show up in time?
- Were all team members present?
- Did everyone on the team talk?
- Were problem-solving and team conversations kept to a minimum?
- Was progress on resolving current impediments discussed?
When to Do This Practice
Daily coordination meetings are done at a consistent time every workday. It is done at a time that is convenient to the whole team. When remote members are involved, this must be negotiated within the team.
The daily coordination meeting should not take more than 15 minutes.
Where to Do This Practice
The daily coordination is conducted in a conference room or in the team’s work area.
Remote members should attend, and they should have visibility of the team board. A web camera is preferred.
The benefits of this practice include:
- Team members understand the overall state of their collective work, and of any impediments that impact their work.
- The team’s coordination board is up to date.
- Any new impediments were recorded and assigned.