Scrum Ceremonies, part 1

Last post, we talked about all of the responsibilities of a Scrum Master. Now, it’s time to talk about the biggest responsibility of a Scrum Master and where they are thought of the most – during the Scrum Ceremonies.

Scrum Daily Stand-Ups

The time that you will be thought of the most is during the Daily Stand Up. There should be three questions answered by everyone during this time.

  1. What have I accomplished since the last meeting?
  2. What will I be working on until the next meeting?
  3. What is stopping me from getting a task done?

These are three extremely important questions for the entire development team, not just the scrum master. The development team should be listening to all of the team to hear their answers as well.

They should listen to the rest of the team for their answers to what they accomplished since the last meeting to see if they have the same challenges in their near future. They should listen to everyone’s answers about what they’ll be working on until next meeting to see if they can help the team member in some way. But most importantly, everyone should be listening to the “Blockers”, or “Impediments,” to see if they will also be stopped by that same issue or if they know a way around it.

The Scrum Master has to pay attention to everyone’s answers for various reasons.

  1. The Blockers have to be worked on to be removed as quickly as possible.
  2. Did someone run out of work since the last meeting? Find them work quickly. (Idle hands are the devil’s playground.)
  3. Is there a chance that someone will run out of work before, or soon after, the next meeting? Make sure you have something lined up.

But the thing that will make the most people happy that you do, and the maddest if you don’t – time-box the entire ceremony. No one can talk for more than 2 minutes. If someone tends to ramble on, call them on it. There should be nothing talked about that is not an answer to the 3 Questions. If someone needs to, ask them to have a side meeting to discuss after the Daily Stand Up.

So, in our next post, we’ll go over some of the other ceremonies. Until then…

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