60 Second Agility: ROTI Meetings
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Always in search of the absolute minimum of ceremony, my last team "discovered" a useful agile practice that takes 60 seconds from start to end: the ROTI Meeting.After every meeting, on the way out the door, draw a diagonal line on the whiteboard with the labels 0, 2, and 4.
0 = "I'd have been better off making a Starbuck's run. Complete waste of time"
1 = "You really should have let me stay at my desk and code"
2 = "This was an OK meeting. About as valuable as if I'd been coding"
3 = "Surprisingly, this was more valuable than if I'd been writing code"
4 = "Wow, this meeting saved me tons of time. Thank goodness I didn't skip it to code"
And then each person answers the same question, "What could be done to improve your number by one point?"
To do this in 60 seconds means there is no discussion. The feedback is what it is; no debating, no fixing problems, and no hurt feelings.
ROTI meetings create tacit, organization knowledge that can be acted upon by team members in the future. It drives a team towards less meetings (almost always a good thing), pushes team members to be more respectful of each others time and expertise, and influences meeting organizers to craft more succinct, on topic, and meaningful gatherings. It takes only 60 seconds so you might as well try it a few time!
... and now the historical details.
ROTI analysis is nicely described in Esther Derby's great book "Agile Retrospectives". The practice in the context of iteration retrospectives takes more lie 5 to 10 minutes. Our team found ROTI to be so effective in retrospectives that we shortened it and held one at the end of every meeting.
The actual ROTI scale is a bit more formal than what we created:
0 - Lost Principle: No Benefit Received for Time Invested Break-Even:
2- Received Benefit Equal to Time Invested High Return on Investment
4 - Received Benefit Greater than Time Invested