start scrum at off times

Agile QuickTip: Start Scrums at Off Times

One of the most common frustrations that teams have with their daily scrum meeting is getting everyone to show up on time. Could the answer be, start at off times?

The daily scrum – or standup – is intended to be no longer than 15 minutes, so when team members show up 5 minutes late, that’s a third of the scrum that they’ve missed. Teams wrestle with the whether to catch latecomers up on what’s been said — losing the momentum of the scrum team — or simply moving ahead with gaps in the updates.  Often times, team members find themselves simply waiting until everyone shows up before getting started.

One idea that could help encourage people to show up at the right time, is scheduling the scrum for “off times” rather than at the top or bottom of the hour. Instead of starting at 9.00am, or 9.30am, try scheduling it 9.04am, or 9.36am.

This gives team members a few extra minutes to finish up with a previous meeting making it more likely they will be on time to the scrum. Secondly, scheduling meetings at off times make participants more aware of the meeting time. They check their watches more often; are more nervous about missing the start; and therefore will be more likely to remember that it’s time to attend.

Test this idea out with your own teams, and see if it makes a difference, reducing your frustrating wait periods and getting your scrum participants through the door on time, every time.

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