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Category: Scrum Patterns / Scrum Technique Patterns / Daily Scrum Patterns

Pattern: The After Party

Also Known As: After Meeting, Obstacle Resolution
Warning! Patterns are not a concrete methodology, and using only documented patterns is a sure fire way to destroy creativity and innovation. More here.

Pattern Summary:

  • The Dev Team meets just after the Daily Scrum to handle things that are inappropriate for the Daily Scrum.
  • Non Dev Team Members can also attend.
  • Can be a sit down.
  • Beware the <Save All obstacles For The Daily Scrum> anti-pattern.
  • If an After Party often occurs, it's usually wise for someone on the Dev Team to explicitly indicate "Ok, that's the end of our Daily Scrum, now let's move to the After Party." This lets everyone know that the rules and purpose of the meeting have changed. Maybe people will sit down at this point, or non Dev Team members can participate, or attendees can "vote with their feet" if they realize they're no longer needed at the after party, etc.
  • Possible Strategy: Build After Party Agenda first, then deep dive
    • In this strategy, you build the agenda first before actually deep diving on the agenda items. The benefit of doing this is that are often ways to design the agenda to proceed more efficiently. For instance, if two mutually exclusive subgroups have items, they can hold those discussions in parallel, or take one of the discussions "offline" for later in the day. Other examples for streamlining the after party are mentioned below under "Largest audience to smallest" and "Take the agenda item offline"
      • Many teams just deep dive right into the first item when the after party starts -- this is often the least efficient way to run the after party.
  • Possible Strategy: Largest audience to smallest.
    • In this strategy, an initial agenda is created and you work the agenda in order from "largest audience needed" to "smallest audience needed", and possibly delegate "one on one meeting needs" to the two parties needed to work out their needs "off line."
  • Possible Strategy: Vote with your feet.
    • In this strategy, as soon as you are not needed for the rest of the after party, you are free to "vote with your feet" and leave the after party.
  • Possible Strategy: Take the agenda item offline
    • Sometimes, when only a small subset of the team is needed, or the item itself is non urgent, the after party facilitator can ask that small subset to handle the discussion offline and report back to the team with any needed updates.

Possibly Good For:

  • Discussions with those not on the Development team.
  • Obstacle resolution if you're following the <Defer Obstacle Resolution> pattern.
    • Co-located teams often have the ability to have shorter after parties because they can easily meet informally later in the day in person, whereas dispersed(remote) teams will tend to have longer after parties because the barriers to informal communication are larger for dispersed teams.
  • Discussions where only a small subset is needed.
  • Teams that are dispersed, distributed, or where some members are remote often benefit greatly from this practice. Since most everyone is all together in this meeting, this is a good way to have discussions that might happen more informally and in person in a co-located team. Also, for teams where time zone overlap is a challenge, teams will often utilize this time for similar reasons.
  • Some teams benefit from having very short refinement discussions in the after party

Possibly Bad For:

Pattern Details & References:

Pattern Contributors:

  • Charles Bradley

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