Daily Scrum Time Keeper

Daily Scrum Time Keeper (DSTimeK) – helps you stick to your allotted time for speaking

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Whenever there is a situation in which multiple people want to equally share information in a limited timeframe you can use the Daily Scrum Time Keeper. The app helps you to ensure that everybody gets a chance to speak.

Before the meeting the app divides the given timeframe by the number of members sharing information. In the meeting the smart phone itself can be passed as a talking stick from one member to the next using alerts (visual effects, customizable sounds and vibration) to remind about staying in time.

The Daily Scrum Time Keeper App is designed and built to be used for the Daily Scrum (daily stand-up status meeting lasting 15 minutes) according to the Scrum methodology originating from project management. But it could be easily used in similar situations. The main functions of the timer are:

  • the timer divides the meeting time by the number of participants to calculate the talking time
  • uses alerts when the talking time is over (visualized by red color, sound played, device vibrates)
  • creates further alerts each minute if the speaker keeps talking
  • uses big digits that can be easily recognized even from meters away
  • can add participants during a running daily scrum (divides the remaining scheduled time by the remaining members + 1)
  • can play different sounds, also fun sounds
  • you can use different languages
  • the timer can be run without adverts and using an internet connection (no disturbing popups during your daily)
  • also works on an iPad
  • can be used as full version with all supported functionalities for free – but only temporarily

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What happens when using the DSTimeK? Advantages…

The intention is basically the same as it was originally when the American Indians have used it. Extract of its rules [ The Talking Stick: An American Indian Tradition in the ESL Classroom, 1998]:

  • let everyone speak their mind
  • whoever holds the talking stick has within his hands the power of words
  • other council members must remain silent
  • all members of the circle were valued equally

A class of students using this method to discuss a topic mentioned the mutual respect for each other based on “really listening” and that they felt really “heard” by the others [ The Talking Stick: An American Indian Tradition in the ESL Classroom, 1998].

The DSTimeK app represents the talking stick with a timer in it to ensure that everyone stays in time. Besides of the timer core functionality there are more functions like choosing the most used language of a group, changing the alert and sharing information with others. Literally “holding” the talking stick is not necessary. Actually it might be even better to fix it somewhere (e.g. the holder from the shown picture Afunta Universal Flexible Smart Phone Holder) so that the people talking plus standing next to it can explain free handed their status (and e.g. show/move stuff on the scrum board). Furthermore talking people are not hiding the time, everybody in front can see that there is still time left, or not.
The effects/advantages are that -in average- the meetings are more often in time, less boring since somebody talks too long, more accepted and visited by participants and in “one” word more efficient.
To learn more about the motivation to build such a timer, please visit this Motivation).

Examples of Use
  • School | Pupils presenting their homework – everybody should get about the same talking time.
  • University | 3 students in an oral exam are asked questions, each for about 10 minutes.
  • Business | Delegates of departments are coming together (morning meeting…) to give each other a status update.
  • Daily Scrum | Used on the iPhone and passed from member to member.
  • Daily Scrum | Used on the iPad, put the iPad on a table, in an iPad stand etc and operated free-handed. Below you see an example of how the DSTimeK can be used:
FAQs
  • The app starts in english even if my iPhone language is a different one? | Only a limited number of languages (can be seen in “Language”) are supported. In case you are using a different iPhone language, the app uses english as default. Below you see some languages that are supported (English, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish):
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  • I clicked on “ACTIVATE” under “Temporary Full Version” but I don’t get the InApp Purchases, the adverts aren’t removed afterwards and so on. Instead I get an error message saying “Issue With Activation”. | Please click afterwards when you see the advert coming up, covering the whole iPhone, on this advert. This will open the advert and (in most of the cases) return the “ad-was-opened-event” back to the application. If this doesn’t work try it with “ACTIVATE” again. I try to filter those adverts that don’t work in this context. From time to time it might occur that requests that are sent to get adverts are not answered at all. In any case you still have the possibility to buy InApp Purchases. There is also this How To video available for instructions how to activate a TEMPORARY FULL VERSION of the DSTimeK:
  • How can I remove all adverts permanently, not only for one hour? | There is an inApp Purchasing package called “Remove Advertising” for that.
  • What is the content of the inApp Purchasing packages Soundbox and Funbox? | Both sounds in the boxes can relax a meeting or make it more exciting: what kind of sound do we have today
    The Soundbox contains rather normal sounds: Beep: Censor, Beep: Electronic Device, Bell: Bike, Bell: Church, Bell: Door, Bell: Small, Bell: Train Warning, Chinese Gong, Drums: Africa, Drums: Bongos, Drums: Military, Drums: Tribe, Harp, Horn: Car, Horn: Childs Bike, Horn: Ship, Laser, Nokia Phone, Referee, Trumpet: Military.
    The Funbox contains more provocative sounds: Applause, Applause and Shouts, Barking of a Spitz, Burp, Cow, Fanfare, Interference with a Mobile, Laugh, Neighing Horse, Rooster, Snoring Man, Snoring Woman. Plus a german accent.
  • I bought some packages with InApp Purchasing. Afterwards I removed the application. Do I need to buy the packages again? | There is the possibility that you restore the purchases in the app itself. If this doesn’t work, you won’t be charged for the same package twice even if you “buy”/download it multiple times. If you click to buy a package again (like “Funbox”) you will be prompted if you want to download the package for free.
  • I keep seeing the page ‘No Internet’ even if I have Internet. What can I do? | The app requires an adequate internet connection. Please test the internet connection from within the app page ‘No Internet’ by pressing the ‘TEST’ button. This will trigger a check for an internet connection and re-enable the app usage.
    Possible reasons for seeing the page ‘No Internet’: (a) Ios allows to disable mobile data-internet on app level “Settings->Daily Scrum Time Keeper->Use Mobile Data”. This could be inactive. (b) Flight mode could be activated. (c) Having a slow internet connection might also be a problem. (d) WIFI connection is not correctly setup. If you are using WIFI from within a company network, proxy settings might prevent that the DSTimeK app gets internet. Also, there might be issues with VPN.
    Useful tests: test the internet connection with your smart phone browser (e.g. open the page www.google.com and do some test searches) or start another app that requires internet as well. Try to change the connection and press the ‘TEST’ button repeatedly. Also, closing the app by double clicking on the HOME button and restart the app might help. Using the app without internet connection is possible with “ACTIVATE” under “Temporary Full Version” and “Remove Advertising” under “Purchases”.
  • The app doesn’t load or start? | Check your ios version on your iPhone. The app needs ios 7.0. Furthermore it might happen that there is not enough memory on your device.
  • The app doesn’t play sound or vibrates when chosing an alert. Why? | Check if your device supports playing these alerts. E.g. not every iPad can vibrate. Furthermore it can be the case that the device is on mute, sounds or vibration is deactivated.
  • I want to run the app on my iPad but I don’t find it in iTunes. | Go to the iTunes store, select “iPhone only” and search for the app. Even if the app wasn’t developed for the iPad it can be shown on it because it gets upscaled.
  • I want to run the app on Android, Windows, etc. Is this possible? | Sorry, no. Right now, only ios products are supported.
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