Agile scrum ceremonies are essential elements of the software delivery and agile methodology process. These ceremonies are not just for the sake of having meetings. These agile ceremonies offer a team framework to get the work done properly.
In addition, they help to set your expectations, authorize the team to cooperate effectively, and eventually drive results. However, if you do not manage the agile meetings, they can overcome calendars and give the output that the meetings shouldn’t provide.
These scrum meetings enable and fulfill numerous original/core principles. Sometimes, when teams abandon a few ceremonies, they do not observe any importance in the meetings. So, it means that they should abandon such ceremonies.
What Are Agile Scrum Ceremonies?
Scrum ceremonies or agile ceremonies are meetings that ensure that the product owner, scrum master, and development team are in-sync. These scrum events or ceremonies are held at essential occasions in the agile sprint cycle. There are four types of agile scrum ceremonies which are:
- Sprint planning
- Daily standup
- Sprint review
- Sprint retrospective
Scrum is an agile framework in project management that sometimes confuses the terminology. For example, agile ceremonies, scrum ceremonies, agile meetings, and scrum meetings are often used interchangeably.
Although the plan of both teams is similar, there is a lot of difference between the scrum and agile teams. However, the need for cooperative project management software is the only thing they share. Project management software helps to connect the project teams.
The use of Kanban boards is also helpful for teams to manage their backlogs. In addition, it helps the teams to plan sprints, comment on files, and share them in real-time so that everyone can get information.
Who Participates in Scrum Ceremonies?
Scrum meetings are important, and all stakeholders and involved parties should participate in the meetings. You need to have the scrum master, product owner, and the entire scrum team in the meetings. In addition, the development team of the project should also participate in the agile scrum meetings.
Furthermore, the outside stakeholders can also attend the meeting, but they should have an invitation. Though it is a rare occurrence, it illustrates the collaborative and open nature of the agile ceremony.
In the open meeting, everyone can comment on the product backlog and get opinions from the scrum team to resolve any confusion.
In short, we can say that scrum meetings are like questions and answer sessions to completely understand the users’ needs. It is essential to note that these ceremonies are precise to the scrum framework.
In addition, an agile process is used by various teams around the world to form things that work. Scrum is deliberately simple and lightweight, but it can be hard to master. Nevertheless, it provides a framework for various teams to solve difficult problems. So, simply we can say that scrum is an easy way to apply agile.
The 3 Scrum Roles
The three roles of scrum are scrum master, product owner, and development team.
The Scrum Master
The scrum master makes sure that team members have everything they need to deliver the right value. They can be counselors, coaches, impediment-remover, advocates, mediators, and facilitators; all rolled into one. The scrum master set up ceremonies and talked about blockers and progress.
The Product Owner
This role signifies the business and client for the project they’re working on. The product owners own the backlog and struggle to prioritize items that need early work before every sprint.
In addition, they make exclusive decisions on various products daily. Eventually, they’re converting customer needs into work items for the Growth team.
The Development Team
The development team consists of a wide range of cross-functional team members that focus on the delivery of operational software. The development team is a singular noun for all designers, developers, and various technical roles. Ideally, a group of 8-10 fully dedicated persons makes one scrum team.
In reality, and particularly at agencies, the development team might look different. It should be motivating and self-organizing to provide value. In addition, they can work better with proper facilitation by the product owner and the scrum master.
Agile Scrum Ceremonies Types
The four types of agile scrum ceremonies are explained as follows:
Sprint Planning ensures that the team is ready to make things right in every sprint in the Scrum ceremony.
What’s Its Purpose?
This scrum ceremony happens at the start of a new scrum sprint. It is designed for the Development Team and Product Owner to meet and review the selected Product Backlog. After a series of negotiations and discussions, the team should eventually create a sprint backlog.
The backlog covers all items they are obliged to complete at the sprint end. It is known as the sprint goal. The goal should be a transferable increment of work, which means you can demonstrate it at the end of a sprint. In addition, the entire team should agree on it.
The product owner’s responsibility is to have the product backlog and make it ready for initial review beginning the sprint planning. Next, you have to add the acceptance criteria, necessary details and requirements, and information for the product team. In this way, the team can accurately approximate the effort level.
Moreover, the product owner should answer any questions and resolve any assumptions that the team of developers has about the product. In this way, the development team can forecast the amount of progress they can achieve during the sprint.
Who attends the sprint planning?
The product owner, scrum team scrum master, and the development team attend the sprint planning. And if we talk about the length of the scrum meetings, it depends on the sprint length. If we consider the sprint planning time duration, it takes double the length of the sprint in hours.
For instance, if the length of your sprint is two weeks, the sprint planning could take four hours. Similarly, for a sprint of one week long, the sprint planning will take two hours.
Sprint Planning Helpful Tips
- You can break the users’ stories into smaller tasks and assign these tasks to the team during sprint planning. In this way, everyone will know their duties and what duties they are accountable for.
- The other tip is to encourage the team members to sketch the tasks and bugs that need to discuss in the scrum meeting. So, this meeting should be extremely collaborative. After setting the sprint goal, the competing work should not affect the goal.
- However, it is on to the product owner to cancel the sprint if there is no need for the goal anymore.
- During sprint planning, it is essential to keep in mind the vacations, time off, and holidays so that you can design the work accordingly.
- Also, determine the team’s velocity before beginning sprint planning.
Daily Standup Meeting (Daily Scrum)
In the daily standup ceremony, the team members get together at a place and define the whole plan of the work. In addition, they identify blockers.
What’s Its Purpose?
This agile scrum meeting provides a frequent chance for the team to assemble and communicate the individual growth toward the sprint goal. The daily standup is not for the status update but for highlighting any team’s weaknesses.
It is the responsibility of the scrum master to clear all the roadblocks for the team. In this way, the team can focus on providing the accurate work described in the sprint planning. During the daily standup meeting, each member of the team should briefly know the answer to the following questions:
- What did you achieve yesterday?
- What will you achieve today?
- Are there any obstacles in the way?
The main purpose of the daily scrum is that each member in the meeting should listen and understand each other. In addition, all members should be present throughout the meeting. Sometimes, development team members can work together during the daily scrum meeting.
Who attends the daily scrum?
The development team and the scrum master attend the daily scrum, and the product owner is an optional attendee in the meeting. In addition, sometimes outside stakeholders can also attend the daily scrum on invitation by the scrum master. The daily scrum is a short meeting that does not take more than 15 minutes.
Daily Standup Meeting Helpful Tips
- It is the responsibility of the scrum master to keep pace with this fast scrum meeting. Therefore, it is good to set a timer.
- Decide a suitable time (typically in the mornings), and hold a meeting at that fixed time each day. Also, do whatever you can do to make this a routine for the scrum attendees.
- If your team is scattered in various places, arrange a video conferencing software for the daily scrum meeting so that members can see each other.
- There are Slack integrations and tools, such as Geekbot. These tools allow standups to occur asynchronously. In addition, the meetings should occur over a video call or in person.
- The tone should be fun and light, but the focus should be on collecting and communicating information.
If we talk about the sprint review, it is the scrum ceremony where the scrum masters show all the completed work to the stakeholders.
What’s Its Purpose?
The sprint review offers a platform at the end of each sprint for the Development Team to display all the completed work. The display of work enables stakeholders to observe things sooner than later and adapt or inspect the item as it emerges.
The masters can conduct the sprint review in a casual “Demo Friday” meeting or structured. But, of course, this all relies on the scrum team variables such as the lifecycle and release planning of the product.
Most significantly, all the work you are going to exhibit must be completely demonstrable. In addition, it should meet the definition of completed by the operational team. Finally, the team should feel confident in displaying their work throughout the sprint.
In addition, there should not be a feeling that the team is defending the work or on trial. Rather, the product should deliver the business value.
Who Attends The Sprint Review?
The scrum team, including the development team, product owner, & scrum master, attends the sprint review. In addition, customers, outside stakeholders, and even developers from other projects can attend the review meeting.
The scrum master and the product owner discuss who needs to be involved before the sprint review. They also work to ensure that all are in attendance. The sprint review conducts for one hour a week. So, if there is a two-hour sprint review, it should be scheduled for a two-week sprint.
Sprint Review Helpful Tips
- It is the responsibility of the scrum master to assume administrative duties, ensure the booking of meeting rooms, and availability of additional presentation aids such as flip charts or whiteboards. In addition, the timely completion of the meeting is also the duty of the scrum master.
- During the sprint review, additional feedback is provided that needs to be converted into a new product backlog. It is essential for later discussion and prioritization.
- It is also good to prepare for the meeting as external stakeholders are involved in the review meeting. So, make sure to conduct a rehearsal to set the team members for success.
- It is the responsibility of the product owner to answer every question that arises and get feedback from the stakeholders.
Among the agile scrum ceremonies, it is the final ceremony that allows the team members to overview the work that has been completed. In addition, it allows the team to identify things that require further improvement.
What’s Its Purpose?
This scrum ceremony aims to provide an opportunity for the team members to observe the work displayed and discuss ways to improve the work. So, that meeting is known as a sprint retrospective. It provides the team a platform to discuss things that are going well, things that can be better, and some suggestions for improvement.
Who Attends The Sprint Retrospective?
The Development Team and the Scrum Master attend this meeting. The presence of the Product Owner is optional. However, there should be no external stakeholder in the retrospective meeting. The meeting typically lasts for almost 1.5 hours for a two-week sprint. So, it means that if you want a retro for 3 hours, the sprint will be for a month.
Sprint Retrospective Helpful Tips
- Gather information based on facts and focus on continuous improvement.
- Consider various ways to involve the team in the meeting and keep things novel.
- Involve the team members, encourage them in conversation, and create meaningful insight from the meeting.
- If a suggestion for improvement comes, ask the team member if they all agree. If all agree, discuss the ways how to bring the suggestion into reality.
- It is also good to prepare the team for self-organization.