What Are Scrum Meetings? The 5 Scrum Meeting Types + Templates

Scrum meetings are designed to facilitate communication and create a space that allows your team to assess their work after completing it. But what exactly is Scrum, and what are the different types of Scrum meetings?

The Meetingnotes Team
April 10, 2024

There are 55 million daily meetings in the US alone, and an average professional spends three hours in conference rooms each week. These stats can make meetings seem like an endless chore. However, meetings are one of the best forms of communication, and only become a setback when they are unproductive.

Luckily, Scrum meetings form part of an invaluable framework of communicating information and collecting constructive feedback from various teams, especially the development team. Scrum meetings are also great at keeping the team aligned and focused on defined sprint goals.

Not only do Scrum meetings reduce time spent in daily conference rooms, but they also prove to boost group productivity.  


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What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile framework that helps teams, people, and organizations work together to address complex problems while efficiently and productively delivering high-value results. Scrum encourages teams to organize tasks while working on projects, reflect on their losses and wins, and keep improving and learning through their experiences.

According to the Scrum Guide, the definition of Scrum consists of "Scrum's accountabilities, events, artifacts, and the rules that bind them together."

Scrum focuses on team collaboration and decision-making, with projects that are broken down into timeboxed sprints. The team meets at the beginning of each sprint to assess what they want to accomplish in the next one, and continue to meet frequently throughout each sprint.

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Scrum best practices

Scrum meetings are designed to add value and help teams be more productive. To interest team members in Scrum meetings, be sure to follow these tips for maximum efficiency and productivity:

Set clear objectives

Scrum meetings can lose their purpose when there are no clear objectives attached to it. To keep the meeting focused and productive, it's essential to add clear objectives and set the purpose before the meeting. Unplanned meetings can create dread for your team, so specify how long the meeting will take, and the type of Scrum they are attending before the intended time. This will ensure that every team member comes well prepared and that the meeting stays productive for everyone.

Define sprint goals

Every Scrum meeting should be aligned with the goals that team members are working towards. If the objectives and the sprint goals are not aligned, the meeting loses its effectiveness and meaning. During sprints, everyone should share how they contribute toward the ultimate goal. This ensures that the sprint goal is kept at the center and that practical ways of achieving it are defined.

Have an agenda

Typically, having a clear meeting agenda helps people focus and increase the effectiveness of a meeting. So prepare a Scrum meeting agenda ahead of time and share it with the participants. This practice allows members to come well equipped with concerns, ideas, or questions for other attendees. It also helps them focus on only those elements relevant to the meeting, saving everyone time.

Having a clear meeting agenda for each meeting can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be if your team is supported with the right software. Fellow helps engineering leaders and their teams have fewer, shorter, more effective meetings with AI, behavior driving features, and seamless integrations. Each team member can easily see the meeting agenda side by side in their meeting calls with Fellow's chrome extension, so every Scrum meeting attendee can focus on the discussion and get back to work. Plus, Fellow's AI powered recording, transcription, and summaries empower engineering team members to focus on their workflow, skip the meeting if necessary, and catch up later.


Respect everyone's time

Always stick to the schedule, regardless of those attending the meeting. Waiting for team members who arrive late can lead to time wasted for those who were punctual, and having to go overtime takes team members away from time spent on their actual tasks for the day. Making it clear that all meetings will be held within the specified time will evoke a sense of punctuality and respect for the rest of the team.

Keep improving

It's okay to strive for perfection. Check your track record and learn how best to improve and accomplish set goals. Evaluating your team's actions is always a best practice to improve processes through adjustments and improvements.

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Types of Scrum meetings

Through each sprint, your team should have five types of Scrum meetings. Some of these meetings may only occur once each sprint, while others can occur both before and during the work depending on schedules and the needs of the team. Below are some examples of types of scrum meetings, and templates tp help guide your scrum meetings.

1. Sprint planning meeting

In Scrum meetings, projects are broken into time blocks known as sprints. A sprint planning meeting is a Scrum event where the team, including the Scrum Product Manager, Scrum Master, and the Scrum Team, attend a meeting to review the project's backlog items and determine what will be prioritized for the next sprint. This Scrum meeting aims to ensure that all team members have the same opportunities before work begins. Each team member needs to clearly understand what is to be delivered in the next sprint and how to accomplish it.

A sprint planning meeting is scheduled on the first day of a new sprint, just after the sprint review and retrospective from the last sprint. This ensures that any output from the two discussions is considered when planning a new sprint. It's worth noting that the sprint planning meeting doesn't necessarily need to be right after those two events; You can prioritize scheduling the meeting depending on the availability of the whole team.

During the meeting, the team should:

  • Set a sprint goal consisting of a plan summary for the next sprint.
  • Review a sprint product backlog that supports the set sprint goal and reviews the estimates.

The main advantage of sprint planning is that it gives teams the opportunity to start a new sprint with a better understanding of what tasks they will be handling for that sprint and the initial approach strategy.


2. Daily Scrum meeting

Daily Scrums, also known as stand-up meetings, are short daily meetings that allow team members to review progress, share updates, and triage new issues briefly. Typically, they are held daily while the team is standing at the same time and place with a timeframe of no longer than 15 minutes to ensure the meeting stays relevant, light, and quick.

The goal of these meetings is to briefly discuss task statuses and ensure the goals of the Scrum team and the product owner stay aligned. The Scrum Master often facilitates the daily stand-up meetings by asking three significant questions:

  • What tasks did you manage yesterday?
  • What jobs are you handling today?
  • What hindrances are affecting your work?

Ideally, daily Scrums are planning meetings with brief, focused agendas. They should turn into an overview of each thing members plan to do, or listing off appointments and meetings. Recurring daily Scrum meetings give teams clear ways to align around what happens in the company, remove blockers, and plan daily work properly.


3. Sprint review meeting

The sprint review event is one of the most vital meetings where teams come together to review accomplished projects and examine whether there's a need for additional changes. The meeting is usually led by the development team at the end of every sprint, where they present the tasks they completed during the sprint.

The purpose of the sprint review is not to give a status update but rather to explain what value the project adds to the company. Thus, the work team members present during the event must be fully demonstrable. This also helps the team get stakeholders' feedback on user stories in the sprint as an additional benefit.

An effective sprint review typically lasts about two to four hours and features sprint hindrances, new features, and a review of whether the sprint goal was accomplished. Scrum Masters facilitate the meetings, ensuring that all issues are addressed.

A Sprint review should cover the following topics:

  • Product demo - To exhibit accomplished tasks
  • User stories - To confirm complete stories and discuss how to handle incomplete ones
  • Product backlog – To assess and adjust the product backlog

The agenda can typically include other items such as housekeeping notes and a list of attendees.


4. Sprint retrospective meeting

The sprint retrospective is a Scrum timeboxed meeting held after the sprint review and before sprint planning. The fundamental purpose of these meetings is to review what went well and what could be improved during the sprint. It's an opportunity for the team to reflect on the projects and what changes are necessary going forward. This meeting covers everything that affects how products are developed and improved, including tools, processes, environment, artifacts, and more, which are all open to discussion.

Sprint retrospectives usually demand a minimum level of prep time since they are about lessons learned in the past with a deeper analysis of what changes are to be made in the future.

During sprint retrospective meetings, the team reviews:

  • What work was done well during the sprint
  • Which projects didn't go as planned
  • What should be improved for the next sprint

Even if the last sprint was a success, there are always opportunities for improvement, and these are what should be discussed in a retrospective meeting. Each team member is allowed to constructively criticize some elements of the sprint without blaming others, and the team may decide to vote on various points to prioritize next time.


5. Backlog refinement meeting

Backlog refinement, also known as product backlog grooming, helps teams refine their development process for the next sprint by ensuring they always have well-defined tasks to be handled. According to the Scrum Guide, backlog refinement is an "ongoing process" and not a timeboxed one-time event. Unlike sprint planning and sprint retrospective meetings that have a defined place and time in the Agile process, backlog refinement has no defined guidelines on when or how it should occur.

Refinement can be seen as a to-do list of necessary improvements to move the product forward in a resourceful way. It includes many activities such as adding precise details of product requirements according to new information, general estimation of required effort to complete a backlog item, and more accurate estimations of the effort necessary using techniques like sprint or planning poker.

The purpose of the backlog refinement includes:

  • Prioritizing backlog items
  • Aligning backlog items with KPIs or OKRs
  • Ensuring appropriate sizing of backlog items
  • Adding more detail to backlog items

A well-refined agile backlog helps teams understand the difference between deliverables and requirements, and makes sprint planning much easier since items are already well-defined and ready for building. The goal is to keep the running list as up-to-date and accurate as possible, along with clear details for the team.


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Benefits of Scrum meetings

The number one benefit of holding Scrum meetings is that it ensures all team members are on the same page about what work needs to be done, hindrances that slow them down, and improvements to be made.

Some other benefits of Scrum meetings include:

Providing clear information

Ensuring clarity is the best way to foster productivity in engineering teams. Regular Scrum meetings give team members the opportunity to clarify information about their tasks and responsibilities for the next sprint, so nothing is misconstrued or left unquestioned.

Leaving time for your team to assess their work

Self-reflection is a huge benefit when it comes to continuous improvement. Scrum meetings create a space that allows the team to assess their work after completing the product, and ensure they always have the opportunity to reflect on how to improve processes in the future.

Helping identify blockers

Spotting blockers before they become bigger issues is essential for development teams. Regularly meeting and facilitating communication is essential when it comes to identifying potential blockers and stopping them in their tracks before they happen.

Promoting a culture of feedback

Coming up with practical ways to improve on successes for future sprints can be challenging without communication and regular feedback. Holding Scrum meetings creates a platform for your team to offer feedback and brainstorm opportunities for improvement in the future.

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Common mistakes to avoid with Scrum meetings

To ensure projects succeed within budget and on time, the entire team needs good communication to be on the same page. Simple mistakes can, however, make Scrum meetings inefficient. Be mindful of the following:

Introducing new product ideas

While it may seem like a good idea to pitch new product ideas while you have the team together, Scrum meetings are not meant to be product idea brainstorming sessions. Because they're not structured or designed for product idea discussion, avoid introducing new product ideas in Scrum meetings. Instead, designate other times for new product discussions and keep the purpose of the meeting aligned.

Waiting for latecomers

Delaying the start of Scrum meetings can be tempting, especially if the latecomers are only going to be one or two minutes late. However, those couple of minutes can have a lasting impact on your team's efficiency for the rest of the day. It's important to not wait for latecomers and ensure that the meeting starts and ends on schedule. When you use an AI meeting management software like Fellow to record your meetings, you can always start on time knowing latecomers can re-watch the recording of the meeting to catch up on any parts they may have missed at the beginning.

Limiting your team from sharing impediments

It's important that team members feel valued and heard during Scrum meetings. Limiting people from sharing the impediments affecting the flow of their projects can have negative repercussions down the line, both towards the product and the relationship of trust you have with your team. Instead, encourage team members to share their concerns, and foster a culture of communication among attendees.

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Final thoughts

No matter your company's goals, Scrum meetings are designed to empower your team to deliver great results. While inefficient Scrums can limit members' ability to accomplish their goals, well-structured, effective Scrums empower teams for long-term success.

Every Scrum team is different, and there's no perfect process that fits all, but using an all-in-one meeting management software to help support your Scrum meetings will set your team up for success. Fellow is the only all in one AI meeting management software that can help you and your team have fewer, shorter, and more effective Scrum meetings, so everyone can get back to work knowing everything meeting related is easily accessible in one centralized hub.

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