We hold these every morning at 10:30 am as it’s a time when everyone can get into the office. Three questions are asked of each developer:
- What did you complete since the last meeting?
- What blocked you since the last meeting?
- What do you intend to complete before the next meeting?
The answers to these three questions give a snappy status update for the entire team. In particular, the second question is a direct request for me to do something.
To keep the meetings short there is supposed to be no more discussion beyond the three questions. If needed then it should be scheduled directly after the meeting. However our meetings have recently begun to drag on as I found the “after meeting” gatherings weren’t happening and I let the discussion happen in-line for fear of it never happening (a self-fulfilling prophesy?).
The side affect of this is to subject everyone to a level of detail that may not be relevant to them, wasting time and boring them. So today I’ve asked everyone to answer their questions in 2 minutes. The benefit of a short meeting is obvious but also it gives people practice at concise communication.
Hopefully this should work, but if not then I’ll resort to a trick I used at Sony - a two-minute egg timer. Once the time runs out you have to shut up. If you have more to say then you have to e-mail everyone.
A note for self though - I must make sure the post meetings happen.