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The different types of Scrum meetings — for beginners

Kaleigh Moore

Communication and good project management go hand in hand.

Therefore, meetings are an essential part of project management–– 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 today) is the most effective way to send information to agile teams.

Scrum meetings are the best way you can do that with your team members.

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

What are Scrum meetings?

Scrum meetings are something that stakeholders, management, and teams hold to stay aligned each 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 meetings (also known as Scrum ceremonies) that teams participate in during each iteration.

They are:

  1. Sprint Planning
  2. Daily Standup
  3. Sprint Review
  4. Sprint Retrospective

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

Below is a closer look at 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 items, 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. Time boxing, or assigning a fixed and maximum amount of time for an activity, is a part of this process.

The Scrum master and product owner and development team coordinate 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:

  1. Discussion of sprint scope
  2. Plans of how to deliver the work

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

The entire Scrum team attends (Product owner, Scrum master, and development team.)

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2. Daily standup 

Also known as the daily scrum meeting, the daily standup meeting gives the team a chance to review goals and address any potential bottlenecks.

The daily standup happens every day at an agreed-upon time and is done standing up. Many teams prefer to have it at the start of the day, but it can take place anytime as long as the meeting time remains consistent.

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

  • What did you complete yesterday?
  • What tasks are in the pipeline today?
  • What is hindering the flow?

The Daily standup should be brief, no longer than 15 minutes. 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.

The scrum master (if there is one) and the development team attend.

3. Sprint review

The sprint review meeting happens at the end of every sprint. The development team leads it and presents the work they accomplished during their sprint.

A “sprint demo” is actually an alternative name for this. The entire Scrum team and often outside stakeholders attend these meetings.

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, as an additional goal is to get feedback from stakeholders on the user stories done in the sprint.

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 held at the end of a sprint. The development team and Scrum master (again, if there is one)––sometimes the product owner participate as well.

Continuous improvement is a major part of the Scrum and Agile framework, and the sprint retrospective aims to do this by reflecting 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 a 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?

For projects to succeed on time and within budget, the entire Scrum team needs to communicate and be on the same page.

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

  • Stick to the point: every ceremony has a different purpose. Stick to what needs to be covered in your ceremony and don’t 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.
  • Prioritize the agenda: 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 for refinement, if needed.

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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