Remote Academy
8 min read

Improve Individual Performance with Scrum Ceremonies for Remote Teams

Published on
April 25, 2024
Phoenix Baker
Product Manager
Lana Steiner
Product Designer
Drew Cano
Frontend Engineer
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Scrum ceremonies are like good ideas. They look simple at first glance, but they can be a lot more difficult to master if you look deeper. Scrum itself is a framework for team collaboration. This framework involves a set of meetings, roles and teams to help teams structure and get work done. It’s basically a method for productivity. During scrums, teams should expect 4 ceremonies that take place during sprints:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint review
  • Sprint retrospective

All team members have specific roles in agile ceremonies. These meetings are designed to ensure the team is prepared to accomplish the goals by every sprint, but duties don’t get done automatically.

Roles in a scrum ceremony

The Product Owner must be in tune with what the customer and business, in general, are expecting of the final output. They own the backbone of the project and aim to speed up the production process while making the final decisions on what needs to be met to satisfy the customer’s request.

On the other hand, the Scrum Master prioritizes their team's needs to achieve the ultimate goal. Therefore they might engage in alternate roles such as counsellor, advocate or simply an impediment remover. They are in charge of setting up meetings, tracking progress, and alleviating its blockers.

Finally, the Development Team works on delivering the project in the best way possible.

The “Scrum Ceremonies” framework is a lot different to your average meeting. Depending on how much each scrum meeting lasts, the team will be able to tackle challenges – or factors like:

  • Communication
  • Work plan
  • Possible delays

Whether it’s a Sprint Planning or Daily Scrum, getting the organization together to discuss individual and group progress is more than just a status update, it's a pulse check on how the company is approaching a goal.

Scrum ceremonies are intentionally light and agile for the sake of productivity. However, sometimes implementing this framework is everything but straightforward. For example, daily scrum meetings are supposed to last 15 minutes. But chances are that you are having 30 minutes long daily scrums in your current company.

Whether it happens because some roadblocks require more attention, or some team members would benefit from more guidance, we’ll offer a few tips on how a chat assistant, such as DailyBot, can help you overcome these obstacles.

How to optimize productivity with Scrum Ceremonies

DailyBot is the #1 tool for async work; therefore, leading your team’s standups with this tool is just as easy as sending the link to a Zoom meeting.

For example, the Sprint Planning is the pillar for each project in a Scrum ceremony. The team negotiates and creates a plan with all the action items that need to be accomplished before the end of the sprint.

DailyBot allows the company to set reminders for daily updates and map out the priorities of each task. The team will save time and effort by automating everyday team syncs and leaving room for other activities like personal projects or well-being time.

After the kickoff meeting (Sprint Planning) comes the Daily Scrums. These meetings give the team a chance to get together for around 15 minutes to discuss how’s the plan going, and identify any obstacles to tackle them quickly, or that's how the story goes.

The reality is that meetings hardly last up to 15 minutes, so many current remote employees find themselves working overtime due to a lack of productive time and overuse of meetings. Instead, you could switch to asynchronous standup meetings for daily scrums.

In an async daily standup, participants respond to in-chat scrum questions like:

  • What did you get done yesterday?
  • What are you planning to work on today?
  • Do you have any blockers?
Pro Tip: Optimizing long meetings is probably a step in many to boost your remote team’s productivity. Here are 3 strategies to deal with poor work performance for remote leaders.

Prepare for an impressive sprint review

At the end of each sprint, it is necessary to take a moment to analyze any progress and mistakes made. Sprint Reviews are a way for stakeholders to evaluate the product as it emerges. At this point, the teams meet to expose the progress archived and provide Critical feedback. For example, if the sprint was about developing a new sign up flow for new users, the flow should be demonstrated and then leave a space for feedback and actionable items.

Pro Tip: There’s usually a lot of feedback during a sprint review, so add all the actionable feedback to your backlog for the following sprint.

Reflect on work and keep improving

Finally, the Sprint Retrospective is the final step of Scrum ceremonies, where the coworkers have the opportunity to reflect on the work that was just showcased and discuss ways to improve. It is equivalent to race drivers being told of their performance in an important race, just as fast-paced, just as important.

Tools like DailyBot allow you to automate retrospective questions so people can express themselves judgement-free.

Mental health is also important. Check how to give kudos effectively to your remote team.

Once the sprint retrospective is finished, the team can prepare for the next challenge. Scrum ceremonies are a great way to explore alternatives to common meetings and engage in mechanisms to encourage participation and teamwork. Invest in the well-being of your team, and start implementing these practices daily. We guarantee you’ll see results shortly after!

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