As more and more organizations adopt the Agile methodology, it’s important to be able to run efficient, effective, and productive meetings if you want to have a successful career as a technical professional. These 6 tips will help you do just that!
1. Keep the Manifesto in Mind: Most companies aren’t adopting the Agile methodology for no reason, they’re doing it because of how effective it can be for collaborative technical teams. The results don’t lie, but you can’t get the results without first mastering the fundamentals. Keep the Agile Manifesto in mind during all of your meetings and, when you feel you’re veering off course, bring the team back around to the core Agile principles.
2. Have a Clear Purpose: Why are you having the meeting? If it’s a standup, you’re planning for the next 24 hours. If it’s a code review, you’re reviewing yesterday’s work and progress. Whatever the case, keep the meeting’s purpose in mind to make sure it’s productive.
3. Set Guidelines as a Team: From encouraging team members to volunteer for assignments during meetings to making sure everyone’s cell phones are turned off, each team will come up with their own set of ground rules that work best for the flow of their Agile meetings. Then, to build trust and self-reliance, the Scrum Master should ask the team’s permission to point out guidelines if they’re not being followed. This will keep the meeting’s flow on track and hold everyone accountable.
4. Avoid Stale Meetings: No matter how much you like the movie Groundhog Day, no one wants to be stuck in it or feel like they are because they attend the same meeting every morning. Keep your Agile Scrum meetings from becoming dull and stale however you wish! Whether it’s analyzing the data after a sprint or letting the team select one or two important issues to discuss and improve, you can keep things interesting and varied to help your team focus and retain interest.
5. Whiteboard Parking Lot: If unrelated topics or issues are brought up during an otherwise productive Agile meeting, it can send your team into the weeds and distract everyone past the point of productivity. To prevent that from happening, create a parking lot on your whiteboard where you can post unrelated topics or issues that would otherwise derail the conversation but need to be discussed at some point.
6. Prevent Anchoring Bias: During spring planning sessions, you can’t let one or two hot shot developers take over all of the decision making if you want to prevent anchoring bias. Instead, coach dominating team members to step back, be more inclusive, and even go so far as to call on more timid contributors first. If you rely on one or two key contributors, your Agile meetings will be less productive.
With these 6 tips, you’ll be able to run incredibly productive Agile meetings over and over again. These tips can really boost your job performance and help your career overall. Keep referring back to them as needed throughout your career.