How To Maintain Open Lines of Communication At Your Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum

Clear communication is imperative for teams working towards continuous, iterative improvement through process frameworks such as Agile and Scrum. Team members should feel welcome to contribute ideas or pose questions to Scrum Masters or process coaches during 15-minute daily scrums. Find out how to use shared virtual environments such as Immersive View Zoom backgrounds to encourage engagement.

Accountability, Respect and Feedback

The three most important priorities for daily scrums are accountability, respect and feedback, particularly when sessions take place virtually. The immediate presence of other professionals at in-person sessions can cue team members to the importance of personal and mutual accountability, respecting the contributions of others and offering constructive feedback. Scrum Masters or project managers who organize daily scrums have several options to open lines of communication and maintain high standards for collaboration.

Using a Google Meet virtual background or virtual office backgrounds for Microsoft Teams or Zoom can ensure that every participant in a daily scrum looks professional and limit ambient distractions and unconscious biases. Scrum Masters and PMs can also take planning measures to ensure that every participant knows when to contribute and respond.

Inclusive Team Exercises

Doing exercises that include every member of a dev team in attendance at a daily scrum can go a long way towards opening lines of communication. Team members should feel comfortable and confident expressing achievements and challenges to other members of the team.

For the best results, Scrum Masters and PMs should pursue team exercises that offer members the benefits of more open communication and contribute toward the overarching goals of a project. Having team members collaborate on assessment- and planning-oriented activities can be a good way to encourage remote workers to consider themselves as a part of a team with shared goals, as can using branded Zoom backgrounds or scenes for Immersive View.

3 Questions for Team Members

Team members may feel more confident about contributing to daily scrums when they know exactly what they are expected to contribute. Scrum Masters and PMs can establish a list of questions that every daily meeting participant should prepare to answer. Using the same questions at every daily scrum can ensure that no meeting attendees are caught unaware:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are you facing any impediments?

These questions enable team members to share a clear sense of their current status on assigned tasks and in the larger development process. It is important to note that daily scrums are not simply status updates for team leaders, but opportunities for members to get on the same page and find ways to work together to achieve shared goals in time.

The amount of material that may need to fit into a 15-minute, time-boxed daily scrum can pose communication challenges. Standardizing the information that participants are expected to share, prioritizing topics and reassigning concerns as needed are all ways to encourage participants to perceive lines of communication as being open, which can benefit team members in addition to leaders and stakeholders.

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