Handling Distributed Daily Scrum

Conducting the daily Scrums when team members are in the same time zone and speak the same language is much simpler than for a team with members spread in multiple countries and time zones, having many different languages and cultures.

Following are some my recommendations for handling Distributed Daily Scrums.

  • Ways of communicating during the daily Scrum: Having face-to-face daily Scrum meetings gives the team the highest level of collaboration possible.
  • Teleconference meeting: Distributed teams with overlapping work hours should use a teleconference call to the same phone number every day to hold their daily Scrum meetings.
  • Videoconference meeting: The main advantage of this approach is that team members get to see one another, so there is less nonverbal communication loss.
  • Approach to handling time zone issues: Distributed teams can use methods such as Daily Scrums through documentation, liaison approach, alternating meeting times, and share the pain to deal with distributed daily Scrums where the team has members with no overlap in their work hours.
  • Background noise can be distracting on a teleconference, so teams should chose a quiet room to conduct the meeting.
  • Keeping the team engaged: Possibly the best way to stay engaged and to make sure that others on the team stay engaged is awareness i.e. build awareness of what the team is working on.
  • Facilitating the meeting: In a distributed environment, as individuals come into the call, they will identify who they are. The Scrum Master calls each person and asks for their response. They may respond in the order they arrived at the teleconference or the Scrum Master may choose to call on each person.
  • Taking daily Scrum notes: This helps the distributed team members overcome language problems, plan and learn. Chat Tools help distributed teams do daily Scrums.