Scrum meetings: Goals, team activities, and customer benefits

Collaboration HandsScrum projects include various meetings as an integral part of the agile development process. Sooner or later, clients who are not yet familiar with Scrum may have reservations:

When employees are in meetings and standing in front of the board every day, they are not developing anything for me. The communicative effort in the form of backlog grooming, sprint planning, daily meetings and also reviews and retrospectives is too much communication overhead for me. Why should I pay so much for internal coordination?

In order to avoid misunderstandings, I’d like to explain what happens in Scrum meetings, why they are important for the project, and what the customer gets out of them.

Backlog grooming

What does the team do?
The aim is to jointly prepare and consolidate the user stories and their acceptance criteria, and agree on a story-point estimate (according to needs and typically when developing on a larger scale). The implementation team gets familiar with the upcoming requirements, raises questions that need to be clarified before implementation, and exchanges ideas about the best technical path for the implementation. The estimate is a statement about complexity and scope.

Advantages for the customer
A clear plan before the technical implementation begins reduces the need for communication during the project and creates transparency. Non-functional requirements are clarified and implementation challenges identified so they can be communicated to the customer at an early stage. Good requirements in the form of good user stories can have a strong positive effect on the development speed of a team.

Daily standup

What does the team do?
The team discusses the next immediate steps in the project. The daily standup is therefore a form of resource planning. The team votes on the day’s actions, and this meeting is short and focused (10-15 minutes). Typically, team members answer the following questions: What did I do yesterday? What problems did I have? What will I do today?

Advantages for the customer
As mentioned, this meeting is is goal-oriented and task-focused. This is about the actual implementation of the to-dos. It ensures that all project participants make the most important contribution they can make to the sprint goal. There are no delays in delivery due to waiting times. The key information is communicated to everyone involved at the same time.

Sprint planning

What does the team do?
The team discusses the scope of the next sprint and plans the development. The acceptance criteria of the user stories are consolidated and, if necessary, estimates are made. The main focus here is to answer questions about technical dependencies and implementation. The product owner communicates the customer’s wishes to the team and presents the user’s preferred scope. The developers make a realistic estimate of what can be implemented in the planned time frame.

Advantages for the customer
Both what the customer wants and important information are communicated directly, without detours or via rumors. This strengthens the common understanding of the envisioned goals. The estimated completion of the project reduces the customer’s uncertainty. After sprint planning, the team provides transparency about what they believes they can realistically deliver by the end of the cycle.

Task breakdown

What does the team do?
The team breaks down the user stories for the next sprint into individual tasks, and documents them on the task board for fast processing. Larger development blocks requested by customers and product owners are described from a user perspective and broken down into small technical tasks to be implemented by appropriate team members.

Advantages for the customer
Small development tasks are clearly defined and reduce the need for further communication. This reduces the effort and gets rid of “ping pong” emails and phone calls.

Review

What does the team do?
The review meeting is an acceptance meeting where the completed tasks are jointly reviewed and the quality of the sprint results and their implementation is ensured. The product owner acts as the customer’s representative and approves the results based on the defined acceptance criteria. If necessary, required modifications are identified and documented for processing.

Advantages for the customer
Reviews ensure the quality of the results. Required modifications or bugs are identified quickly and can be discussed and documented ad hoc. The developer who can resolve the problems the fastest will do the work. The customer and the responsible team members speak directly to each other. A face-to-face meeting helps everyone identify and engage with the project more strongly and improves their understanding of the customer’s environment.

Retrospective

What does the team do?
What went well and what do we want to improve? On the basis of these questions, the team reflects on its collaboration during the project, closing the final implementation phase, and steps through a continuous improvement process. Concrete improvements are decided upon and implemented shortly afterwards.

Advantages for the customer
The retrospective has nothing to do with the project and its implementation. However, it is actually one of the most important elements for the customer. Here, the team values results above all, and puts its processes to the test. They lay the foundation for performing even better and faster in future sprints.

Summary

Yes, communication is a central component of Scrum projects. However, the Scrum approach does not (usually) generate any additional organizational overhead. Rather, the process helps to channel and communicate information that is important for good development. This is not only valuable but also contributes to greater efficiency overall. Customers benefit from the higher quality, optimized development processes, implementation of their actual requirements, and regular delivery of the highest quality results.

Your partner for custom software development using Scrum

Are you planning a software development project? Do you want to expand or migrate an existing system? Do you need custom interfaces between systems in your company? And for this, are you looking for guarantees that you’ll get the highest quality results? Or perhaps you are looking for someone to help you shift to using Scrum in your company?

Then //SEIBERT/MEDIA is the perfect partner for you. We value extensibility, performance, scalability, platform-independence and testability extremely highly, and thus create robust custom software solutions which can be expanded and modified after they have been delivered. Please contact us, no obligation!

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Further information

99 Reasons for Scrum: How customers benefit from Scrum projects
The differences between Scrum and Agile
Agile organizations – principles and intentions
Convinced about self-organized teams