General Musing

blaze your trail

Meetings and more meetings #scrum #agile #xp

with 6 comments

In a recent Popular Science article Science Confirms the Obvious a number of studies are examined on some seemingly obvious subject. I’ll leave the discussion on the value of the studies to the article and focus on the result of a study on Group Dynamics: Too Many Meetings Make You Grumpy.

Meetings are usually seen as an interruption in to the work which needs to be done. Meetings can often be complementary to the work which needs to be done, whether it is in defining the tasks, the path or the result. Meetings can be a good way of getting the team aligned, and days chock-full of meetings cuts into time which can be more effectively directed at tasks. They are sometimes seen as a team building exercise, and although brainstorming no holds barred meetings are part of a creative process they are also few and far between.

While brainstorming on this I realized that this is also an example of role-based actions, as I discussed in my review of the Lucifer Effect. The system here is not a prison, as in the Stanford Prison Experiment, but the office environment. The roles are directors, manager and staff. Is holding meetings what is expected from these roles?

What’s the solution?

“Organizations [should] be sensitive to the number of meetings employees are required to attend,” is a suggestion from the researchers and “formal guidelines” for meetings. Which means setting a agenda before the start of the meeting and sticking to it. Time boxing is another effective way of reducing the time spend, time box the agenda items and the whole meeting. When there is a need for a longer meeting – > 1 hour – allow for coffee and/or smoking breaks.


Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in business, lifehacks

Tagged with , , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Daniël,

    Thanks for the post. I have found a business management approach called “Traction EOS” that takes an agile-like approach to business strategy, planning and governance, which I am thinking could go a long way in the right company to match up with agile software development, release planning and code promotion models. Your post immediately triggered me about the compatibility and value there could be in bringing the two together.

    (I am not affiliated with the Traction folks, I just thought it might add a management layer to your observations as well.)

    Kind regards,


    June 17, 2011 at 2:10 am

  2. During the course of an average day I would spend three to five hours in meetings. There were never agendas people often read directly from PowerPoint presentations and half of us in the meetings werent really sure why we were there. After 10 months I changed jobs because I couldnt tolerate all the poorly organized meetings..Since that time I have come to the conclusion that there are only three circumstances when a business meeting is really necessary.

    Panama foundation

    June 17, 2011 at 3:29 am

    • Thanks for your comment!

    • Which circumstances are business meetings useful in your opinion?
    • D.

Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm


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