Developers and Meetings

The lack of multiple planning/coordination meetings in Scrum is a key appeal for developers. The message is very clear. Spend one day planning and then Sprint for the next 30 days. Check in every day for 15 minutes and then let the team decide if they need other meetings.

Simple enough, unless you’re transitioning from a normal project management environment with command and control. Meetings suddenly appear on everyone’s schedule. The concept of just letting the team decide these things is lost and you have a lot of unhappy developers in meetings wondering how they’re going to meet their coding commitments.

The story is very different if the team decides to have a meeting to say review a rough draft of the likely use cases for the next Sprint, or talk about how to resolve an issue with how long it takes to migrate code to the QA environment. There the team members have committed to each other to attend and help out. That personal commitment is really the point. And often these can be informal meetings in a cube or an empty conference room rather than a scheduled two hour session in the middle of the afternoon.

It’s hard to evolve out of traditional meeting hell.