The different types of Scrum meetings – for beginners

The different types of Scrum meetings – for beginners

Kaleigh Moore

Communication and good project management go hand in hand.

It’s no surprise that meetings are an essential part of project management––regardless of whether you’re running an Agile or traditional Waterfall project.

But Agile methodology takes it a step further by making Agile and Scrum meetings part of its actual framework. The sixth principle of the Agile Manifesto says that face-to-face communication (which includes video conferences in today’s professional landscape) is the most effective way to send information to agile teams.

And the best way you can do that with your team is through scrum meetings.

In this post, we’re going to dive into the different types of Scrum meetings and what they’re for.

What are Scrum meetings?

Scrum meetings are where teams, stakeholders, and management come together to stay aligned during every step of the project.

If you’re unfamiliar with Scrum, it’s a framework based on the Agile project management methodology. 

Open communication is a core part of Scrum, and there are four main scrum meetings (also known as Scrum ceremonies) that various teams participate in during each iteration.

Those meetings are:

  1. Sprint Planning
  2. Daily Stand-up
  3. Sprint Review
  4. Sprint Retrospective

Each of these meetings has a different agenda, but they all serve a similar purpose: helping the organization achieve its goals and objectives while following the Scrum framework.

Let’s take a closer look at all four of these Scrum meetings.

1. Sprint planning

The purpose of the Sprint planning meeting is to ensure that everyone is on the same page before work begins.

The meeting is conducted by the product owner at the start of every sprint, after the Sprint review and the Sprint retrospective for the prior sprint.

The owner introduces the product backlog at the start of this meeting, then identifies or reiterates the company’s goals and desired outcomes.

The development team looks at the tasks covered in the product backlog and predicts how much work they can complete within a sprint.

The Scrum master coordinates with the product owner and development team to ensure both teams agree on the work chosen for the sprint.

The work that the development team commits to is known as the sprint goal, and the collection of tasks that make up that goal is known as the sprint backlog.

Sprint planning meetings are typically broken into two parts:

  1. Discussing the scope of the sprint
  2. Planning how to deliver the work

The meeting usually lasts about two hours for every week the sprint lasts. So, a two-week sprint would involve a four-hour planning session before the work commences.

These meetings are attended by the entire Scrum team (Product owner, Scrum master, and development team.)

Get the scrum meeting template now!

2. Daily stand-up 

Also known as the Daily scrum meeting, the Daily stand-up meeting gives the team a chance to review goals and address any obstacles or potential problems that could cause bottlenecks.

As the name suggests, the Daily stand-up happens every day at an agreed-upon time and done standing up. Many teams prefer to have the Daily Stand-up at the start of the day, but it can take place anytime during the day as long as the meeting time remains consistent.

The meeting is facilitated by the Scrum Master, who asks the team:

  • What did you complete yesterday?
  • What will you work on today?
  • Are there any obstacles standing in your way?

The Daily stand-up should be brief, lasting 15 minutes or less. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure the goals of the team and the product owner stay aligned, and there isn’t anything hindering the team from reaching their goals.

These meetings are attended by the scrum master (if there is one) and the development team.

3. Sprint review

The Sprint review meeting happens at the end of every sprint. It’s led by the development team, who presents the work they accomplished during their sprint.

If you’ve ever seen a ceremony called the Sprint demo, that’s just an alternative name for the Sprint review. The primary goal of this meeting is to open the room to feedback and showcase the value of the work completed by the development team.

The aim of the Sprint review isn’t to provide a status update, but rather to showcase the value the project brings to the company. As such, it’s important for the work presented during this ceremony to be fully demonstrable.

The entire Scrum team attends these meetings, but outside stakeholders are also often welcome to join the Sprint review and are encouraged by the product owner to give feedback on the work. If that feedback is accepted, it’s then added to a new product backlog where it’s reviewed and prioritized during the next Sprint planning session.

As a rule, the Sprint review should last about an hour for every week of a sprint. So, a two-week sprint should be accompanied by a two-hour review session. This gives the team enough time to cover all the work completed during their last feedback loop.

4. Sprint retrospective

The Sprint retrospective is a post-mortem meeting held at the end of a sprint. It’s facilitated jointly by the development team and Scrum master (again, if there is one)––sometimes the product owner participates as well.

Continuous improvement is a major part of the Scrum and Agile framework, and the Sprint Retrospective aims to drive that improvement.

The purpose of this ceremony is to reflect on the previous sprint, looking at:

  • What went right
  • What went wrong
  • What teams could do differently to improve collaboration in the future

These meetings are attended by the Scrum master and development team and acts as a gathering wherein the team can constructively criticize various elements of the sprint without assigning blame to other members. All of this aims to help the team work better in their subsequent sprints. 

The average length of a Sprint retrospective is 90 minutes for a two-week sprint. If your sprint lasts a week, the retrospective should be about 45 minutes. If your sprint runs for an entire month, the meeting should be three hours long.

How do I hold better scrum meetings?

Communication is an important part of the Scrum methodology. For projects to succeed on time and within budget, the entire Scrum team needs to be on the same page. That’s why Scrum meetings are so important.

Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your meetings:

  • Stick to the point of the meeting: Every ceremony has a different purpose. Stick to what needs to be covered in your ceremony and don’t allow the meeting to get sidetracked.
  • Follow the recommended time frame: Meetings can eat into valuable time when left unchecked. Stress the importance of everyone showing up to the meetings on time and prepared, and use a meeting timer to prevent your ceremonies from going over.
  • Prioritize the agenda: Some talking points are more important than others. Rank the meeting topics based on their priority and start with the important topics first.

Consider adding a Scrum board to your meetings as well, as they make it easier for you and the rest of the Scrum team to visualize the work that’s been completed. Scrum boards are also used to see what teams are currently working on, and to view which tasks are sitting in the backlog.

Resources for Scrum meetings

If you need help setting up a board or a meeting agenda for your upcoming scrum meetings, monday.com can help. You can find a wide range of scrum templates for your meetings, sprint planning, and more.

Visual planning templates let you lay the groundwork for your projects and scrum meetings in minutes. They’re also customizable, so you can tailor them to suit your specific needs. That way, you can spend less time planning the logistics of your scrum meetings and more time focusing on what matters––setting your agile teams up for success.

Start using monday.com today and see how easy it is to plan your own scrum meetings and projects in minutes with the help of our interactive, drag-and-drop templates.

Try our scrum planning template!
Kaleigh Moore
Kaleigh is an experienced writer on all things SAAS at monday.com. She is a Forbes + Vogue Business retail contributor on her free time.
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