BEP 314 – Project Management 5: Scrum Stand-up Meetings (2)

BEP 314 - English for Projects 4: Scrum Stand-up Meetings 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on participating in a scrum stand-up meeting.

Most people I know would agree that the best meetings are those that are short and focused. And that’s exactly how a daily scrum meeting is designed. Scrum is an approach to project management, especially in software development. Every day the scrum team has a short meeting where everyone gives an update.

In a good scrum meeting, those updates should only take 15 minutes. The scrum master keeps everyone focused. That may mean he or she sidebars any discussion that doesn’t relate to the three questions everyone should answer. And what are those three questions that you should answer in a scrum stand-up meeting?

Firstly, you should report what you have been working on. That normally means telling everyone what you accomplished the day before. Next, you’ll let everyone know what you’re going to work on next, or on the day of the meeting. Already you can notice that the meeting focuses on a limited time period.

The third question you’ll answer is whether you face any impediments. An impediment is an obstacle or challenge. Removing those impediments is the job of the scrum master, but your fellow team members may also be able to help. For that reason, you might ask for assistance during the meeting. When everyone’s finished their updates, the scrum master will close the meeting. But not before outlining sidebar topics for discussion after the meeting.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin a scrum meeting at a software company. The team is working on a new piece of software for a logistics company. We’ll hear Jill, the scrum master, and Katherine, who’s giving her daily updates. We’ll also hear from Sam, who you might have heard give his own updates in our last lesson.

Listening Questions

1. What does Katherine say she will be working on today?
2. What is the first impediment Katherine reports?
3. What does Katherine want help with?

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