The Daily Scrum – Unito Style

daily-scrum

Preparing your day and what you will be doing is of immense importance to your productivity and success.  This is why daily scrums have increasingly been adopted  throughout various companies.  What’s a daily scrum you may ask?

A daily scrum is sort of like a meeting, albeit brief.  It usually takes place in the morning and its purpose is to inform the rest of the team of what you will be doing on that day.  So basically, every team member takes their turn to quickly clarify to everyone what they will be working on.  The whole process shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes.

The purpose of scrums is to keep everyone updated on what is happening with everyone else.  It is extremely easy nowadays, especially because a lot of the work we ultimately end up doing is alone on a computer, to have information silos, not just between departments, but within the same team.  As well, it is a great routine to adapt which allows for transparency and for the communication lines to be more open.

Here at Unito, we have adapted the daily scrum into our own little way of doing things…which is usually cutting-edge yet quirky!  Here’s how we made our daily scrums even more effective:

Technology & flexibility

We feel that there are enough meetings as it is right now with typical work schedules.  Having to add another daily meeting to an already filled schedule would just not spin it into a positive direction.  Add to this, is that there are team members with different schedules.  So it can be tricky to have everyone at the same place at the same time, and an increasing number of distributed teams will certainly relate to this!  So we decided to make our daily scrums completely digital and trouble-free.  What we do, is that we have a dedicated #channel in Slack for our daily scrum, and everyone on the team posts their own piece whenever they start their day.  This allows for complete cohesiveness no matter where people are, does not account for another unnecessary meeting, and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to write and quickly glance over 🙂

Company-wide

While most in-person daily scrums would typically only involve the most immediate team members, it still doesn’t help in cutting down information silos between departments and open communication lines when you have multiple teams under the same roof.  This is why at Unito, we have everyone on the roster post into the same scrum channel.  This breaks down barriers between developers and marketers for example, since everyone can quickly and easily see what everyone else is working on.  Sure, we are a small team now, but as we grow, we want to maintain this culture of openness because it keeps everyone involved, in the loop, and aware.

What did you do yesterday?

Not all scrum methodologies include discussing what happened yesterday and thus only focus on what you’re doing today.  We feel that seeing what you did yesterday gives an insightful look into what you will be able to do today.  It also provides accountability, as it is a written document that claims to show what you have been doing, which can be verified by anyone.  On a personal level, writing down what you did the day before will give you a glimpse into whether you are accomplishing as much as you intended to.  You will quickly be able to assess if you are under or over estimating your capacity.

Blockers

Along with sharing what you did yesterday and what you will do today, we also add another element that can be highly important in being known to the rest of the team.  This third element is called blockers, or in other words, anything that is impeding on your progression.  If there is anything that is stopping you from accomplishing certain tasks, you can list it in there.  What this is useful for, is that for one, your direct manager will see this information and will be able to act accordingly in order to help in removing these blockers from your path.  Second, a team member, perhaps even someone from a different department, might have the answer or solution to your problem.  This person, now knowing of this information can then help you out in getting rid of the blocker in question.

So this is our own little version of scrums here at Unito in a nutshell! Are you doing daily scrums at work?  What methods are you using to enhance communication and promote transparency within your team?

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