There are quite a few meetings to attend when you break down the entire Scrum cycle from one Sprint to the next. The Development Team will have events like the daily stand-up, planning, demos, and retrospectives. One of the hardest things for the Scrum Master to do is get the Product Owner and the Development Team to actually show up and participate in these meetings. One way to combat this is to provide incentives to your Scrum team.
The Reason for the Reluctance
When you have a Development Team that is hesitant to attend all Scrum meetings or Agile events, you need to figure out the reason for the reluctance. Why don't they want to attend the meetings? What is preventing them from participating? Do they have their own Development Team meetings that are replicating the content of the Scrum team meetings? Are they just busy with projects? Most importantly, do the people attending get value in attending? One of the most common reasons for low attendance is that it simply isn’t perceived as valuable.
Explain the Benefits
As a Scrum Master, it is important to explain the benefits of the Agile events to each team member. Take it one meeting at a time. Explain how each event fits into the overall Scrum framework. All Scrum events are integral and completely unique. The daily stand-up, for example, focuses on what you did yesterday, what you will do today, and any impediments the team is facing. The demo showcases functionality to stakeholders and Product Owners. The Scrum event should have value to the attendees as a working session, not just a meeting. Getting input and feedback on making the outcomes more valuable will change the tone and desire to attend.
Snacks and Coffee
When all else fails, and if your teams are co-located, you can incentivize them with snacks, coffee, and other beverages. Everybody loves snacks! Try to spice things up at the Agile events with trays of cookies, bags of chips, or bowls of candy. You can do a lot with treats to help improve attendance and engagement.
While snacks and coffee can go a long way towards providing that extra bit of energy for the whole Development Team, don’t let the snacks become a distraction. You don’t want team members constantly shuffling around the room during the meeting to get food, or passing the food around and making noise while the meeting is in progress. Consider giving snacks at the end of the meeting. You can also advertise “surprise” snacks on the meeting’s agenda. It will incentivize people to attend and, more importantly, remain present until the end!
Does your team need a better way to manage complex projects and collaborate on product development? Looking to improve attendance at your Scrum meetings? We offer fun, interactive, hands-on training classes where we teach students about Scrum, Lean and Kanban concepts.