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Article: Developer Productivity: Ensuring Productive Meetings

If you work in an organization, you’ve experienced bad meetings. These soul-sucking, time-crushing meetings leave you deflated and wondering if you’ll ever be able to get anything done. Learning how to make sure that developers are only in the meetings they need to be in—and that the meetings that they’re in are productive—is a key way to maintain developer productivity.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re using an agile software development methodology, waterfall, or a blending of the two that you call something like “Agile-Fall.” In truth, the meetings that you experience as a developer share common characteristics no matter what the methodology. Let’s look at agile meetings first.

Agile Meeting Types

Developers working in agile projects typically experience four basic kinds of meetings. The daily standup meeting is the most frequent, and therefore potentially the most time-consuming. The backlog, or estimating meeting, occurs each sprint or iteration so that developers can estimate the effort for each task and determine dependencies. Show and tell meetings occur each sprint to help demonstrate what’s working. These meetings are primarily designed for the clients, but often developers are asked to join to “show off” their features. The other meetings are “traditional” meetings, which may include organizational meetings as well as requirements-gathering meetings that developers get pulled into.

Standup Meetings

Everyone is supposed to stand up to keep the meeting short. Three questions are designed to elicit commitment and create opportunities for support.

Part of the series on developer.com, Developer Productivity. Read more…