Daily meetings are also known as scrum meetings [SCH04].
These meetings help check the heartbeat of the project. All team members
are required to attend. The meetings are held in the same place at the same
time every work day and should not last for more than 15 minutes. Usually,
teams conduct the meetings with everyone standing up to keep them short (thus
some call them "standup" meetings). Anyone who is directly involved can
also attend the meeting as an observer, but care should be taken because too
many people in the meeting may cause disruption or cause people to be uncomfortable
in sharing information. Typical daily meetings should have 10 people at most.
During the daily meeting, each team member updates peers with answers to the following
three questions [SCH04]:
- What did I do yesterday?
What will I do today?
What is impeding my work?
These three questions have a specific purpose [SUT06]:
- The first question tests the focus of the team. Anything done that was
not work planned for the iteration is questioned.
- Answering the second question revises project strategy daily by reorienting
the team according to dependency changes that were revealed by the response
to the previous question.
- The third question will create issues that may result in new tasks in the
Work Items list. The most important effect of this question is to create a
list of issues that are assigned to the team or to managers. The team
should expect management to help eliminate bottlenecks.
These are the minimum number of questions that satisfy the goals of daily
meetings. Experienced practitioners tend to add an additional question for improving
collaboration among team members: "What have I learned or decided that is of
relevance to the team?" [LAR03]. "What
might help or hinder others in meeting their commitments?" [YIP].
Other topics of discussion (design discussions, chat, and such) should be deferred
until after the meeting.
For self-directed teams, the daily meeting is a mechanism to quickly inform
the team about the state of the project and people. It supports openness and
enables resolution of dependencies and conflicts in real time. It builds a team;
effective teams are built by regularly communicating, sharing commitments, and
helping each other. [LAR03]
What a daily meeting is not
The daily meeting is not a status update meeting in which the project manager is collecting information about who is
behind schedule. Rather, it is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other.
Neither is it a problem-solving nor issue resolution meeting. Issues that are
raised are registered and usually dealt with by the relevant team members immediately
afterward. It is the project manager's responsibility to resolve them as quickly
as possible or to make sure that someone on the team does.