At my job, we're having a Scrum of Scrums meeting where all the Scrum Masters get together. This meeting is turning into a boring meeting where everyone gives their status update. I'm trying to make the Scrum of Scrums meeting more proactive, where Scrum Masters will be more involved with other Scrum Masters, and where it is more of a time for Scrum Masters to call out dependencies on other teams and agree upon a solution to remove those dependencies.
Our team co-ordination meeting was getting really stale too so we did a few things to try and improve it which seem to have worked pretty well.
Above is an example of our board.
I suggests to change how the Scrum of Scrum meeting is facilitated. Instead of talking about usual stuff and about the three questions, I would focus only on the following key points and have a discussion about them:
The idea is to focus only on those things which affect other teams. In order to do it effectively, the teams shall discuss what to bring to the Scrum of Scrum meetings. It shouldn't be something the ScrumMaster finds out. If the team has nothing to say, that the SM shall say that there is nothing to add to the meeting. If it happens on multiple occasions, then something is going on at the team level, which is worth checking out.
Additionally, there is something else which is worth checking out. How come that Agile people turn their own meeting into a status meeting? Don't get me wrong, our ScrumMasters do it all the time, but you may be able to find a good reason and fix it. We still don't know why they do it, and neither do they.
Here I blogged about some daily stand-up variants, you may find something useful there too.
There are a number of books on scaling Scrum, and I'm sure there are other definitions out there, but I'm going to share my personal definition with you.
Ideally, a scrum-of-scrums should have a separate Scrum Master who isn't wearing the Scrum Master hat for another team. That person should be the referee who blows the whistle whenever the meeting begins to slide off the agile track.
Think of each Scrum Master attending the scrum-of-scrums standup as a human kanban. That person's job is to:
In other words, this should be a short coordination and commitment meeting between Scrum Masters, rather than a status pull, review, or retrospective. However, without a designated Scrum Master to act as a process referee, and without a strong organizational commitment to inspect-and-adapt at the scrum-of-scrums level, meetings like the one described in the question are all too common.
I concur with most of the suggestions above if you are doing a Scrum Master scrum of scrums. I would ask yourself what the purpose of that meeting is. If it is just technical coordination of immediate activities, then focus around that and the scrum masters (or senior developer) should be able to handle them.
If the focus is to keep the teams coordinated beyond just technical dependencies, I might suggest a scrum of product owners (assuming that you have product owner/business analysts or similar on each team) as well or even instead. These folks are responsible for maintaining the overall vision and ensuring that business need is being met instead of just looking at the software. Particularly as you move from being software focused to solution focused, the broader vision will often bring into focus areas that a team needs to be concerned about beyond just doing coding.
Either way, I would use the scrum of scrums as more than just immediate coordination between teams and a regular meeting to look at overall picture of the product (or sprint or release).