Welcome back to another week at www.implementingscrum.com.This week I am writing to you about something that usually gives me a shiver down my back.Meetings.
More to the point — useless meetings.
You know the type. Let’s have a meeting to have a meeting to discuss what we talked about at our last meeting and review what we have not completed but might get done before we have the next meeting in a few weeks.
This idea started with an email my wife got from a friend last week that basically said, “I am in a meeting and want to stick a pencil through my eye.”
I know the feeling.
This familiar to you?
Then… I am reading one of the copies of CIO Magazine (specific link here) from when I was gone last month and….
Let me recap what Scrum and “Meetings” have in common (this is correlating an the “five tips” talked about in the brief article I read by Diann Daniel):
1) Schedule only when necessary.
OK. In Scrum, you have a daily standup meeting. Fifteen minutes max. This is your daily planning.
You also have a Sprint Review meeting — where your outside stakeholders can come and see what is happening — working software is preferred.
You also have a Sprint Retrospective — where you and the team work on things that went well, went not-so-well, and what specific few items you can work on improving in your next iteration.
2) Reduce the frequency.
So it may seem that Scrum has a lot of “meetings” to some people.
These “meetings” should ideally start turning into how people do work together on a daily basis.
3) Create an agenda.
This one is easy.
Daily — The three questions. What have you done since yesterday, what are you going to do today, and what are your impediments.
Keep it simple.
If there are impediments (things in your way)… the ScrumMaster is responsible for making sure the impediments get removed. This does not mean the ScrumMaster must remove them; however, it usually takes a ScrumMaster role to make sure that things are getting out of your way. One of the ways this gets accomplished is by working with the team in showing them how to remove their own impediments. Cool when it works.
5) Do the minutes.
So in Scrum (and agile in general) one of the items in the Agile Manifesto is, “Working software over comprehensive documentation.” To me, this means that you should not ignore the fact that risks (possibly impediments) need to be tracked in an organization (see my blog entry on compliance!). Remember though… do not overkill it. Do what is needed and move on.
When people are transitioning from “old waterfall” development techniques to this agile stuff (Scrum in particular), sometimes they have a hard time remembering that the old ways they did meetings were ineffective and gave people a bad taste in their mouths (translation: UGGGGGGG WHY AM I HERE?!@@?).
As a ScrumMaster, part of your daily workings with the team will involve them in talking to one another.
Some people call that “meeting.”
Time to get over it and start working together.
Getting some ideas of how to help get this working in your organization?
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November 5, 2007