popcorn daily scrum

Agile QuickTip: Popcorn Scrums

The daily scrum is an integral part of any scrum team. Here you can discuss what you’ve been working on the previous day, bring up challenges that are standing in the way of progress, and set the context for the day’s work. But have you heard of the Popcorn scrum method?

One of the challenges that a lot of Agile teams have is figuring out the order of speakers. It’s complicated further by virtual or distributed teams dialing-in from disparate locations.

Traditionally, the order of speakers is usually decided by a facilitator – typically the ScrumMaster. The Popcorn method can help your team and your daily scrum to be more effective.

The idea is simple. The current speaker chooses the next person to give an update, the one who will speak next. Think about it like ‘passing the mic’. This has three main benefits:

  • Facilitation becomes simpler, without one person needing to be in charge of the scrum, and with a more natural running order based on the updates and the conversation at hand.
  • The process is the same each time, no matter who is attending the meeting. Teams are not reliant on one facilitator and everyone in the company knows what to expect.
  • This method promotes participation and attention. Team members will spend a bit more time thinking about what’s been said, who hasn’t spoken yet and who is important to include. As participants could be called on to engage at any point, it pushes all members of the team to pay closer attention.

Give it a try at your next daily scrum, and see how this one change can effortlessly make your team meetings more effective.

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