Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Meeting Types

As I finish up Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka, I'm assimilating conversations I've had with several people, including Debbie Madden and Wayne Ramprashad about why we meet--and how to make meetings effective.  Here are my notes:

Tabaka says the meeting types are:
  • status
  • planning
  • working
  • retrospectives
  • shouldn't happen meetings

Madden says we meet to:
  • Advance the Thinking
  • Improve Communication
  • Build Community
  • Build Capacity
  • Make Decisions
  • Obtain Input
  • Share Information

Dhondt says there are 3 reasons to meet:
  • Are we on target? Do the bosses need to get involved?
  • Feedback: get help/opinions, delegate. Say: what's left? what's next? who's got what?
  • Gauge Interest: ripple effects / dependencies / who's interested
When attendees don't have a clear agenda, when they don't see the connection to their daily work, the meeting is probably a waste of time. Scrum rules say there are 3 types of meetings: daily, sprint demo/review, and a retrospective. The wisdom in this is that any other type of meeting is likely to detract from our ability to produce new, working software. So postpone it until the release is done!

To assimilate all the lists above, I'd probably settle on the following types:
  • Feedback Wanted: obtain input, advertise about a working/decision meeting, help wanted, escalation needed
  • Working/Decisions: working meetings, pair programming, code reviews, information sharing, planning, estimation, design work, research, brainstorming
  • Retrospectives: all about sharing perspectives and process improvement
In my opinion, the daily standup can include both Feedback Wanted and Working/Decisions content. Also note that there are no "status meetings" in my list--since we should pull status from information radiators or offline conversations.

No comments: