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What Is a Scrum Meeting and How Do They Work?

Understand Scrum meetings with this guide, featuring an overview of what they are, the different types, and best practices for running them successfully.

Motion Blog
at Motion
May 29, 2023
Table of contents

Scrum meetings are a vital part of the Scrum process. They help Agile teams using the Scrum framework deliver their work on time, reprioritize tasks, and overcome any challenges or hurdles.

But if you’re new to the Scrum process (or are simply struggling to wrap your head around Scrum meetings), understanding how these meetings work is easier said than done.

The good news is that you’ve come to the right place for answers. In this article, we’ll walk you through the different types of Scrum meetings, what they involve, and share some top tips for successfully running your own Scrum meetings.

What is a Scrum meeting?

To understand Scrum meetings, you first need to know what Scrum is and how it works.

Scrum is a framework within the Agile methodology. The process breaks projects into smaller pieces, allowing teams to be flexible and work in iterations. Iterations are full of sprints, which involve short bursts of time-boxed work. Each sprint helps the project team get closer to their goal.

The focus of the Scrum framework is to deliver the most value to customers in the least amount of time. With regular and frequent product releases, project teams make sure that customers get the best features and functionalities as quickly as possible.

It also means they can make changes to their work and reprioritize tasks based on customer feedback. That way, they know they’re always working towards whatever the customer wants from the product or service.

So where do Scrum meetings fit into the mix?

The phrase “Scrum meetings'' describes the different types of meetings held by Scrum teams. All of the meetings are time-boxed, ensuring the project team is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

They also help project teams address any challenges or hurdles as quickly as possible, which allows teams to get things back on track and reach their goals.

What are the different types of Scrum meetings?

Here are the Scrum meetings that take place throughout the Scrum process:

A flowchart of the Scrum meetings that take place in an Agile workflow

Let’s look at each meeting in more detail.

1. Sprint planning meeting

A sprint planning meeting takes place at the beginning of each sprint. It involves the entire Scrum team defining what the upcoming sprint will focus on and how the work will be achieved.

During the meeting, the team reviews items from the product backlog to identify the top-priority tasks. The most important tasks are then added to the upcoming sprint, and the sprint plan is updated accordingly.

If you’re new to sprint planning, take a look at some of these tips to get started on the right foot:

  • Prepare the product backlog: Before the sprint planning meeting, the product owner should review the backlog items to make sure they’re relevant and in order of priority. That way, it’s easy for the Scrum team to identify which items should move into the upcoming sprint.
  • Use an AI tool to update your sprint schedule: When it comes to updating your sprint plans, an AI-powered project management tool can be helpful. For example, with a platform like Motion, you can add and assign project tasks during sprint planning.

Motion can then build a prioritized schedule for each team member. You and your team don’t have to manually place these tasks on their calendars; Motion can do it for you.

Motion to outline all project tasks, track task status, and manage work priorities

You can also prioritize tasks. This means that when you reshuffle your schedule, the most important tasks automatically come first.

2. Daily standup meeting

A daily standup meeting (or daily Scrum) is a short meeting that takes place every day of the sprint. It usually lasts for 15 minutes and involves each team member answering the following questions:

  • What did I work on yesterday?
  • What am I working on today?
  • Are there any challenges that’ll prevent me from completing my work?

Having the daily Scrum gives teams a chance to keep in touch and make sure everyone’s on the same page. If there are any challenges to face, the team can figure out how to overcome these hurdles and make sure that all the daily tasks are completed as planned.

Everyone on the project team takes part in the daily standup, which includes the following team members:

  • Product owner
  • The development team
  • The Scrum master

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best practices for running a daily Scrum meeting:

  • Host the meeting at the same time and place everyday: To make it easier for the project team to know when and where the meeting takes place, host it at the same time and in the same location every day. That way, they don't have to think too much about when and where it is, which can be frustrating when the meeting happens every day.

This is where it’s helpful to have a tool that’ll schedule recurring meetings for you. With a platform like Motion, you can use our calendar to automatically schedule daily meetings at the same time each day.

Organize meetings with Motion

Track time during the meeting: To make sure the meeting doesn’t exceed the time limit, be sure to keep an eye on the time while the meeting is happening. For example, you can set a timer on your screen or an alarm on your phone to remind you when the meeting is almost finished.

3. Sprint review meeting

A sprint review meeting occurs at the end of a sprint. It’s a chance for the entire Scrum team to show stakeholders the work they’ve completed, the challenges they faced, and gather feedback for future sprints. As a result, the Scrum team can reprioritize and update tasks accordingly.

Have a look at a couple of our best practices for running a sprint review meeting:

  • Plan a clear demonstration: Consider exactly what you want to show stakeholders before the meeting takes place. For example, if you’ve launched a new feature, think about how you can demonstrate this feature as effectively as possible. That way, you’ll be able to run a smooth session that gives participants a clear overview of what’s been done. This means they’ll spend less time asking follow-up questions and more time providing helpful feedback.
  • Invite relevant stakeholders: Be sure to invite all the relevant people to the sprint review meeting. This includes the entire Scrum team, as well as any external stakeholders that have an interest in the work. These stakeholders could be end-users of your product, financial investors, or project sponsors. If you don’t invite all the necessary people, you might miss out on valuable feedback for future sprints.

4. Sprint retrospective meeting

A sprint retrospective meeting involves the entire project team discussing the successes and failures of the previous sprint. It focuses on improving processes for the team rather than improving the sprint outcome (which is covered in the sprint review).

The content of a retrospective varies from team to team, but it typically includes the following information:

  • An overview of everyone’s role
  • A breakdown of interactions between team members
  • An outline of the internal processes
  • A summary of the tools used
  • The final deliverable

By reviewing all this information, the Scrum team can see what went well, what can be improved going forward, and how to improve it.

Here are a couple of top tips for running a sprint retrospective:

  • Create an agenda: A meeting agenda will help you stay on track during the meeting and make sure that you cover all the necessary topics. If someone starts to go on a tangent, you can politely return to the agenda to keep things on schedule.
  • Involve the entire team: You’ll get the most out of a sprint retrospective when everyone participates and shares their perspective. To encourage the whole team to take part, try to ask open-ended questions and assign team members specific topics to discuss on the agenda. That way, everyone has an opportunity to talk.

5. Product backlog refinement meeting

The backlog refinement meeting (also known as backlog grooming) involves reviewing items in the product backlog. If you’re not familiar with the product backlog, it’s an ordered list of tasks, activities, and features that must be completed to finish the “product” that satisfies the defined business need.

The refinement meeting makes sure the backlog is well-organized and that it includes all the relevant information. The product owner manages the process, collaborating with members of the development team and the Scrum master to keep the backlog up-to-date and in the right order.

To make sure your backlog grooming runs as smoothly as possible, consider the following tips:

  • Use a platform to track your backlog: Having a central location to record your product backlog items is a great way to streamline the meeting and keep track of the current backlog items. Motion’s Task Manager can track all your backlog items and is easily accessible to all team members. So long as they have an internet connection, they can access the backlog in real-time.

  • Document changes and updates: Record any changes, updates, or decisions made during the meeting. This includes any modifications, new details, or revised priorities. By tracking this information, you’ll be able to keep track of the changes you made and the impact they have on the product or sprint goal. That way, you’ll know if the changes were worth making or if you need to make more adaptations.

Plan, manage, and schedule your Scrum meetings with Motion

Scrum meetings are vital elements of the Scrum process. Why? Because they make sure that the project team is on the same page and that each sprint focuses on top-priority tasks.

To run these meetings successfully, you need a flexible platform that allows you to update your plan of action and reshuffle tasks.

This is where Motion can help.

With our AI and automation tools, you can easily schedule your Scrum meetings, assign tasks to team members, and reprioritize tasks in your sprint. Try Motion for free to see it for yourself.

Motion Blog
Written by Motion Blog