'Happy' Meetings

Hola! Please take a seat and have a coffee!

On Agile environments, I have noticed how member of the teams quite often raise up their voices saying: "We have so many meetings, I cannot do development, this is boring". Let's say a Scrum implementation. We have several ceremonies: Sprint Planning, Poker Sessions, Stand-ups, Retrospective and Sprint Review. At least. Then we can have one-off, ad-hoc meetings such as 1-to-1s, trainings, general discussion meetings.

On a 2 week-cycle we can count the number of hours a sprint on meetings. Let's say 2-3 hours grooming/sizing, 4 hours on the sprint planning, 1-2 hours retrospective, 10 minutes x 10 days on Stand-ups. This is perhaps a 10% of the sprint. But where is the problem?

I have been a developer back in the time and still. I hate meetings.

Sometimes a meeting is just a reminder of a calendar to talk about something "There is a problem, let's have a meeting with the maximum amount of people possible so that we ensure that defect is fixed". That way you tackle the issue. Probably. Disrupting the whole development team. But perhaps we could have resolved via sending few emails, providing information on a JIRA ticket or just gathering an informal chat: "Eh buddy do you have a minute? Do you know if...?"

Sometimes a meeting is just understanding that we have to proceed with the Scrum ceremonies no matter if we haven't prepared it or it doesn't give us any benefits. We can see examples of annoying useless stand-ups, vague poker sessions.. Surely any of you have come across those issues. If the stand-up is the most important meeting of the day, wouldn't be better to spend few minutes in making sure we shared our status to other colleagues? We will only speak for a minute so it should not be a big deal.

So today one of the guys said that "Yes, I hate meetings but I like 'Happy' meetings" which essentially means "if a meeting (or a set of meetings) is interesting, essential for the team, well-prepared, well-conducted, we have a minimum and maximum of right people, funny and it does not disrupt my concentration then I'd think this is a right meeting. "

Agreed GP :)


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