Tag Archives: co-workers

The Perils of Meeting-Driven Culture

Does your organization have a meeting-driven culture? Not sure? Ask yourself how much time you spend in meetings. Are they effective? Search the Internet and you’ll discover that we spend way more time in meetings than we’re comfortable admitting. The Harvard Business Review claims that the figure has doubled in the last 50 years.

The designers of Scrum recognized this and deliberately kept the formal meetings to the bare minimum. It adds up to around 12-15% if you use the entire time box. Contrast this amount to many organizations and you will discover that Scrum is quite efficient.

Many organizations I’ve consulted for don’t have deliberate rules on how to conduct meetings. They’ve allowed the meeting culture to evolve on its own. As such, meetings are not very productive.

However, practising Scrum doesn’t automatically make you immune to this meeting burden. Teams still operate within the same office and with the same people. Scrum and Scrum Masters can help teams have better meetings.

Here is a typical example of the transition from meeting-driven culture. I was coaching a Scrum team and worked in the team room alongside the development team. On several occasions (over several weeks) I asked the team to review the product backlog and make estimates. They brushed it off and refused to do this work. Instead, they did this at Sprint planning, despite complaining that it made the session long and exhausting.

I wondered if the ‘familiarity’ of the team room discussions made the backlog work appear less important. So I created a meeting outside the team room and sent an invitation via Outlook. Everyone accepted.

I kept the meeting as a regular occurrence, and the backlog review work got done ahead of Sprint planning. The team was much happier.

Why did this work? It succeeded because the organization had a meeting-driven culture—that is, planned events sent a signal that important work requires a meeting. The extra meeting clearly wasn’t necessary, but it succeeded.

This exercise helped me realize that organizations have so many meetings because they have few ways to engage.

Many office cultures don’t promote face-to-face meetings. Could it be the desk arrangement? They don’t value the serendipity of impromptu meetings. In the absence of frequent, short, high-quality meetings, people are forced to meet in rooms away from their desks.

If you see this meeting-driven culture in your organization, it’s likely an expression of what it values. Improving it will require discussions on what you value more. Shall we plan a meeting?

When I train Agile classes (Scrum, Kanban), I ask the attendees to make a list of activities that they can start right after the class. Number one on that list is co-location. That is, move your team to the same space so that they are sitting beside each other.


Affiliated Promotions:

Register for a Scrum, Kanban and Agile training sessions for your, your team or your organization -- All Virtual! Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Face-to-Face Value

Linkedin has introduced a new app called Linkedin Lookup, advertised as “the fastest way to find and learn about your coworkers.”

If you don’t know who your co-workers are then your Enterprise has big problems, and a LinkedIn app won’t solve them. But Agile can…

The first Value in the Agile Manifesto reads: “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”

What does that mean? For some understanding, you might read this excerpt from: Applying Agile Management Value 1: (Agile Project Management For Dummies)

The first core value of the Agile Manifesto is to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. When you allow each person to contribute unique value to your software development project, the result can be powerful.

… This emphasis on individuals and teams puts the focus on people and their energy, innovation, and ability to solve problems. You use processes and tools in agile project management, but they’re intentionally streamlined and directly support product creation. The more robust a process or tool, the more you spend on its care and feeding and the more you defer to it. With people front and center, however, the result is a leap in productivity. An agile environment is human-centric and participatory and can be readily adapted to new ideas and innovations.
If you do not know who your employees or co-workers are, if you are never with them when they are engaging in their work to note their individual styles and capacities, then you are part of the old corporate way of conducting business, and will not be able to succeed given the current needs that demand a more humanistic approach to problem-solving and increased production – in other words, needs that demand agility.

What does it take to introduce yourself to a co-worker on another floor? What does it take to encourage an individual or team struggling with a creative problem? What does it take to tell someone, face-to-face, their work is well done?

These small interactions can have a great effect on any individual. She/he will feel valued, needed, noticed, regarded, and will likely want to learn and work even harder to increase his/her potential.

In Forbes magazine, January 2015, Steve Denning wrote an interesting article that speaks to the value of “individuals and interactions over processes and tools. His piece is called ”Why do Managers Hate Agile?”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/01/26/why-do-managers-hate-agile/
In it, he compares the vertical mindset and approach of corporations, which served them well one hundred and fifty years ago, to the horizontal approach that Agile offered in the late part of the 20th century as a response to changing needs in the world.

Denning writes:

Agile, Scrum and Lean arose as a deliberate response to the problems of hierarchical bureaucracy that is still pervasive in organizations today: falling rates of return on assets and on invested capital, a dispirited workforce and widespread disruption of existing business models.

…the world changed and the marketplace became turbulent. There were a number of factors: globalization, deregulation, and new technology, particularly the Internet. Power in the marketplace shifted from seller to buyer; average performance wasn’t good enough. Continuous innovation became a requirement; in a world that required continuous innovation, a dispirited workforce was a serious productivity problem. As the market shifted in ways that were difficult to predict, static plans became liabilities; the inability to adapt led to “big bang disruption.” In this turbulent context, the strengths of hierarchical bureaucracy evaporated. In this context, businesses and institutions requires continuous innovation.”

Social media apps can be fun and helpful, but they cannot replace human face-to-face interaction. Think about Agile’s first value as a place to begin.

 

 

 

 

 


Affiliated Promotions:

Register for a Scrum, Kanban and Agile training sessions for your, your team or your organization -- All Virtual! Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
Kanban for Product Owners (ML-KPO)
Online
C$495.00
Dec 7
2022
Details
Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Dec 12
2022
Details
Scrum Master Bootcamp with CSM® (Certified Scrum Master®) [Virtual Learning] (SMBC)
Online
C$1795.00
Dec 13
2022
Details
Kanban for Scrum Masters (ML-KSM)
Online
C$495.00
Dec 14
2022
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop) (LSAFE)
Online
C$1395.00
Dec 14
2022
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KSI) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1795.00
Dec 15
2022
Details
Product Owner Bootcamp with CSPO® (Certified Scrum Product Owner®) [Virtual Learning] (POBC)
Online
C$1795.00
Dec 15
2022
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Online
C$1195.00
Dec 20
2022
Details
Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Dec 20
2022
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Dec 20
2022
Details
Win as a Manager (ML-WAAM)
Online
C$895.00
Dec 21
2022
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Dec 23
2022
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Online
C$1015.75
Jan 6
2023
Details
Kanban for Scrum Masters (ML-KSM)
Online
C$495.00
Jan 10
2023
Details
Kanban for Product Owners (ML-KPO)
Online
C$495.00
Jan 11
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Jan 16
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Jan 16
2023
Details
Scrum Master Bootcamp with CSM® (Certified Scrum Master®) [Virtual Learning] (SMBC)
Online
C$1525.75
Jan 17
2023
Details
Win as a Manager (ML-WAAM)
Online
C$895.00
Jan 19
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Jan 20
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Jan 20
2023
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI)
Online
C$1525.75
Jan 24
2023
Details
Product Owner Bootcamp with CSPO® (Certified Scrum Product Owner®) [Virtual Learning] (POBC)
Online
C$1525.75
Jan 24
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Jan 26
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Jan 26
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Jan 27
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Jan 27
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Feb 3
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Feb 3
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Feb 6
2023
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KSI) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Feb 7
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Feb 13
2023
Details
Win as a Manager (ML-WAAM)
Online
C$895.00
Feb 16
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Feb 17
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Feb 27
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Real Agility™ Ask Me Anything / Coaching
Online
C$750.00
Feb 27
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 3
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 6
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 10
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 17
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 21
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 24
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Mar 31
2023
Details
Real Agility Management Track - Practitioner I (RA-MT-LA)
Online
C$7950.00
Apr 3
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 4
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 14
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 17
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 21
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 25
2023
Details
Real Agility™ Team Performance Coaching with BERTEIG (COACHING-TPC)
Online
C$750.00
Apr 28
2023
Details