Agile Decompiled: Stand-up Meetings
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Stand-up meetings are one of the agile practices that a lot of people coming to agile for the first time have a problem with. I know I did and still have to a certain extent. The idea behind the stand-up meeting being that if you are standing up then the meeting will be shorter.
In my experience however it does not matter if you are standing or sitting, a meeting can still be prolonged no matter what your vertical position is.
Having a daily morning meeting, in my opinion, does help communication. Some agile purists would say that it also promotes team building and team autonomy. I think most people would agree that long meetings with many people tend to be counter productive, so keeping a meeting on track benefits everyone.
In some shops, when the stand-up meeting is in progress the participants pass an object around to say who should speak next. This type of activity can also seem strange to those not participating in the meeting, or those who are new to agile type practices.
But let us digress for a moment and take a quick peek at a couple of ways in which a meeting can become long and irrelevant.
1.Topics discussed which are not relevant.
When people are in a meeting and topics are being discussed which are not relevant to them then the meeting sticks in the mind as being a waste of time.
2.Unnecessary details discussed in the meeting.
There are times when one or two of the participants may delve deep into a particular topic in such a way which is relevant only to the participants. Other people on the outside of the discussion tune out and again see the meeting as a waste of time.
I think most people agree that these kind of meetings waste time for all the participants.
Now Stand-up meetings have proponents and opponents, but at the end of the day they are just one way of ensuring close collaboration and communication between team members.
And just like in Steve Krug’s book Don’t Make Me Think, communication should be something which allows you to think about solving problems and not cause more problems.
In the end as long as the meetings you have are clear and focused and relevant to all parties then, for me, it doesn’t really matter if you are standing up or sitting down.