A Beginner’s Guide to Scrum Meetings for New IT Startups


itIf you’re in the business of improving your performance and capabilities as an IT expert, then you’ve most certainly heard of the agile system. The agile project management system is a digital methodology by which project teams divide and conquer the various tasks, steps, obstacles and problems that stand between the beginning of a project and its total completion.

It’s an attempt, refined through hundreds of minds, to develop an easy and simple way to design a project team that can efficiently dispatch projects faster than other teams might, and with much less of a headache between members and group leaders.

What is Agile?

The actual concept is simple. Agile project management proposes that a project be split up and divided into manageable sections. Each section is further divided into tasks, each of which are categorized as untouched, a work-in-progress, up for approval and finally completed. As per AgileNutshell, this is described as “a time boxed, iterative approach”.

Through the systematic elimination and double-checking of tasks, team members can work autonomously on achieving their daily goals and subsequently tick off each project step at a faster, more focused rate.

Then What is Scrum?

Scrum is a further evolution of the agile project management system, reliant on the skills of a team of autonomous and talented workers, and the communication skills of a single ScrumMaster, who doesn’t act as the leader of the team but rather the coach who oversees the process and ensures that the Scrum methodology is properly followed and integrated.

Scrum functions on the basis of daily Scrum meetings, or scrums. These meetings form the basis of what Scrum is, and how it’s different from the agile project system. Through a quality video conference service for IT like BlueJeans, the difficulties of launching regular, timely physical meetings is eliminated as well. Instead of initializing and completing each task through a series of stages, tasks are chosen and worked upon in sprints (just as in Agile), cutting out the bureaucracy of the agile system and instead relying on the skills and respect of the Scrum team members to communicate effectively with one another and work on (and complete) tasks in an order determined by daily Scrum meetings.

The Difference Between Scrum and Agile Development

 The difference is a matter of definitions, mostly. Agile is a philosophy and a vague methodology applied to all digital development, whereas Scrum is specifically an applied agile method for software development. Wherein agile development undergoes an iterative process wherein each iteration goes through strict definitions of development, a Scrum sprint does the same thing but does away with the definitions, going through the development phases naturally.

The key difference, then, is that Scrum teams need to work on an individual basis, wherein every member is self-motivated to get their job done and choose what best to work on – while also requiring an element of daily communication and planning wherein members can discuss what they did, and how they’ll move on in the context of what the team as a whole has accomplished and encountered so far.

How a Scrum Meeting Works

The main component of a proper Scrum team is the implementation of daily meetings. But Scrum meetings aren’t like your regular meetings – there are certain criteria to fulfill, certain usual definitions to avoid, and there are certain rules that, while applying to most meetings, completely contradict the point of an efficient Scrum meeting.

Here are the basics. A Scrum meeting is roughly 15 minutes long. No longer – and no shorter. That’s the sweet spot where everyone can pay attention what’s being said and can be given enough time to formulate their own little contribution to the meeting, without being under immense time pressure.

The Scrum meeting is also the highest priority for a ScrumMaster. While ScrumMasters are always members of the team and do their own work within the team, as ScrumMaster, one of their responsibilities is ensuring that the rules of a Scrum meeting are ensured.

  1. Discipline. As per ScrumAlliance, rule number one is discipline. Scrum meetings should always be 15 minutes long, and they should always be at the same time unless it’s impossible on one day or another. Every member needs to join in for the Scrum, be on time, and leave only when it’s complete.
  1. Efficiency. Scrum meetings shouldn’t be used to record the meeting, make notes or process the previous or current sprint’s backlog. Everyone’s attention needs to be 100 percent fixed on the topics at hand – which are always kept short enough to deal with in a day or so.
  1. Disclosure. Scrum meetings don’t exist for one member to give a detailed status report or talk about everything they did right – they exist for people to discuss what went wrong. Give details about what impeded your progress, and ask for advice or let others know that you’re on the problem.

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