There are number of regular meetings take place among Agile Team members. Let’s go through different type of meetings.

1. Sprint Planning Meeting

Purpose of the meeting During a sprint team works on selected features. Those features are planned and selected in sprint planning meeting which holds before every sprint. Product owner and scrum team participate this planning session which usually last for 4 hours. Product owner come up with a set of features to discuss with intent to add into sprint backlog so team could work on it during the sprint. Usually those features have a specific theme attach to them, that theme is also called sprint goal. Following are a few example of the sprint goal.

  • Improve the performance of the current system.
  • Build the UI of certain component.
  • Create API of the product so other application could access some specific information.

Based on input from the team, features are finalized for the sprint. Team input helps to decide if proposed features can be completed in the sprint or there are any impediments involve in completing those features. Features story points should be fall within sprint velocity. Once features are decided scrum team breaks those features into tasks. Team may assign hours or story point to each task. The output of the meeting is a sprint backlog, sprint theme/goal and tasks related to each feature.

  • Timings: 
    Before every Sprint
  • Duration:
    4-8 hours
  • Artifacts:
    Sprint Tag/Goal, sprint backlog, tasks
  • Participants:
    Scrum Owner, Scrum master, Scrum Team

2. Release Planning Meeting

An Agile project may consist of number of iterations (sprints). A release consists of a sub set of such iterations. The length of release could be between 2 to 6 months. Release planning meeting is held at the beginning of each release. The purpose of the release planning meeting is to go through the backlog and give an estimate the number and set the priority of features that can be completed in a release. At the start of the meeting Product owner usually come up with the backlog with selected features he wants to get completed during the release time frame. Scrum team gives its opinion regarding the features and based on the discussion certain features are added or removed from the release, or their priority and time to complete may change.

The technical knowledge of the team gets very helpful in this planning session. The scrum team may prefer to complete certain issues before than others because of architecture design or some other technical issues that product owner does not have much knowledge about. An important measure which plays a vital role in release planning and estimation meeting is Velocity. If it’s not the first release, velocity of previous releases can be helpful in finding out number of sprint may take to complete a release. If the velocity is not known then team have to estimate the work that can be completed in a release. Initial estimate of the team can go wrong. In those situations team can hold another planning meeting to adjust the estimates based on real progress. With time velocity gets more predictable the release planning meeting start giving more accurate estimates based on velocity.

  • Timings:
    Beginning of each release or revised during the release
  • Duration:
    4 – 16 hours
  • Participants:
    product owner, scrum master, scrum team
  • Artifacts:
    Release backlog.
Best Practices:
  • Project owner come with prioritized and estimated features, so that team could create a schedule for the release.
  • Use the velocity to determine the number of sprints.
  • Don’t dictate technical team with your technical choices.
  • Don’t try to push features against the team recommendations.
  • If teams are very big than one person representing each area should attend the meeting.

3. Review Meetings

A. Sprint Review (Demo) Meeting

Once sprint is completed Sprint team present a demonstration of the features completed during the sprint. The Product owner and customer review the features and give their comments on the completed features. Product owner may accept or reject the feature or point out the deficiency or bug in the work completed during the sprint. Features that fulfill the definition of done, provided by the product owner, are accepted. The fate of those features that are not completed or partially completed decided during next sprint planning meeting.

  • Timings:
    After sprint completion.
  • Duration:
    2 hours
  • Participants:
    Product owner, customer, scrum team
  • Artifacts:
    completed features.

B. Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Purpose of the meeting

The purpose of Retrospective meeting is to discuss with team what processes or practices went well during the sprint? and what process and practices need to be improved? In this meeting only scrum team and scrum team participate. This is the last meeting of the sprint. Following are some of the examples.

  • Smaller task work better than larger ones
  • Definition of done need to be more clear
  • Information radiators need to be placed where everyone could see them
  • Daily meeting should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Timings:
    After Sprint Review meeting
  • Duration:
    2-4 hours
  • Participants:
    Scrum Team, Scrum Master
  • Artifacts:
    better processes and practices.

Best Practices:

Following are some of the best practices we can follow.

  • Use time line of the sprint to get feed back
  • Make team comfortable and relax
  • Try to let team to reach a consensus without scrum master interuptions
  • Don’t try to cover events outside of the sprint

4. Daily Stand-up Meeting

Purpose of the meeting

The Daily stand-up or daily scrum meeting is the most important scrum meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to understand what team members are working on and propose them a solution for any impediment they may be facing. Each scrum team member answer following three questions in each of the meeting.

What you have done since last meeting? What, if anything, is preventing you to perform your task? What you will do between now and next meeting?

  • Timings:
    Daily
  • Duration:
    15 minutes
  • Participants:
    Scrum master, scrum team (other can participate as a silent participants)
  • Best Practices:
    Following are some of the best practices we can follow.

    • Don’t exceed more than 15 minutes.
    • Only scrum team speaks, product owner can attend the meeting as silence participant
    • Fix the time for the meeting.
    • Don’t discuss anything out of three questions mentioned above.