The benefits of an Agile Approach to Meetings

Nobody wants to sit through meetings and feel like it was pointless. So why are up to half the meetings attended wasted?
It can demoralize your team and make it difficult to be productive. It is important to plan ahead for your meeting so that you get the most out your attendees’ time.
This project is an example. PUST (Polisens Utredningsstod), a Swedish police investigation support project, was based on Agile principles and included daily stand-up meetings. The meetings were difficult to manage with a group of 60 people.
This was solved by the project team who divided the meetings into shorter, more productive sessions.
The feature teams, which are made up of a requirements analyst and a tester, met for fifteen minutes in the morning. The specialist groups met for synchronization. Testers from each team met, developers from each team met, and the requirements analysts met again for 15 minutes. This allowed all feature teams to effectively synchronize their work with other teams.
The third daily meeting was project synchronization. This was where a cross-team group discussed the entire project with the manager. It was often attended by members of the project board.
Instead of one meeting, why not have three? What could be better? Although it might seem like a lot, the entire thing was completed in 45 minutes each day.
Everyone started the day knowing exactly how they were going to get there. These meetings were known as the “daily cocktail party”, with a focus being upbeat. However, I don’t believe they had any cocktails at that time.
Keep your meetings short
The shorter the meeting, it is easier to focus and get everything done. This can reduce distractions and chitchat. Agile teams also use this technique a lot. Agile meetings are known as stand ups.
You can cancel meetings if they are not producing the results you desire. There is no need for a weekly meeting of the project team if you find you are working closely with your team members throughout the week, and the formal meeting is redundant.
But, before you do that, think about why this meeting is not productive. If the meeting is truly irrelevant to all participants, cancel it. Don’t waste time with pointless get-togethers.
If you believe that it would be beneficial for everyone to meet, and if this could improve the collective productivity, then you should think about what you can do to make the meeting more productive.
Tips for Effficient Meetings
These suggestions will help you squeeze more value from your team’s time together.
Send out an agenda and objectives to ensure everyone knows why they are there. If you allow anyone to suggest topics for your agenda, it can lead to a lot of irrelevant items being included in the final agenda. Give people the opportunity to submit ideas, but make sure they are checked for validity before they are added to the list.
You can take it in turns to be the chairperson: this allows quieter members of your team to speak and lead. You can either keep the minute-taker role for yourself or delegate it a trusted colleague. This is because you need to be confident about the accuracy and completeness of the minutes.
Do not assume that all action points from the previous meeting are complete. Go through the minutes and ask for updates. If an action is not completed, move it forward.
Establish a time frame and penalize those who are late.
Calculate the cost for the downtime in the meeting if it starts late: Sometimes you might need to