· agile

Agile: The curse of meetings

Something which can often happen with agile software development teams is that in the desire to take everyone’s opinion into account for every decision we end up having a lot of meetings.

Toni wrote about this a while ago and described a situation where he’d managed to get rid of a meeting and just have a discussion after the stand up with the necessary people.

While this is a good idea I still think there are occasions where it’s not necessary to discuss every problem down to the minute details with the whole team.

For example, this week we needed to make changes to some migration files to deal with the fact that we’d removed a gem which a migration previously relied on.

3 solutions were suggested and each had good and bad parts to it so any discussion amongst a group of people was likely to result in a split opinion on what the best approach to take was.

In that situation I think it makes much more sense for one pair to take the problem, work out what they think is the best solution and then just do it.

If it turns out that wasn’t the best solution then we can change it in the future.

It can be quite difficult to persuade people that it’s not necessary to have meetings because the meetings are usually are about things which affect the team so it seems to make sense to involve everyone.

On the other hand I like to think of what people could be doing instead of attending that meeting.

If what they could be doing would be more valuable then perhaps they shouldn’t be in that meeting.

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