Scrum Meetings: Painful or Successful?

You have a meeting at 3:00.  Are you looking forward with dread or anticipation?

Scrum meetings are a frequent and essential occurrence as we move through the Scrum framework.  As a team member, a Product Owner, or a ScrumMaster, we have an obligation to facilitate meetings that are engaging.  How to accomplish that??  It requires awareness and practice.

An engaging meeting. That sounds like a tall order.  Webster’s Dictionary defines engaging:  : to attract and hold by influence or power : to interlock with : to hold the attention of : to induce to participate.

I have been to many a product demo that is lack luster.  I have seen daily standups where team members leave asking, “what are we doing next?”,  and retrospectives that are dominated by one or two people. Meetings are a forum for learning.  Learning about the product, the requirements, or learning about the people involved in development.  To craft a successful meeting, we must shift our perspective.  We must view meetings as a opportunity and challenge to expand our ability to engage.

How are we going to accomplish this engagement?  By running a meeting that appeals to all learning styles and team members.  If we use the Learning Type Measure from 4MAT, we know the learning language that everyone speaks. Whether the ScrumMaster or Product Owner is directing the meeting, if a framework is followed, engagement will be embedded.

The first step is to answer the question Why?  Why are these features important, why do the stakeholders value something, why was this process selected?  Then we move to What?  What features have been built, what does the market research say, what are the advantages of the new development process?  How is the next question in the meeting format.  How will the features work in the real world, how can this be built with the resources available to us, how will we test the product in the market?  Finally, we need to know What if?  What if we shift our budget to finance the newest trend in the market place, what if we eliminate feature X for feature Y, what if we re-organize our priorities to meet the deadline?

A meeting framework grounded in good learning strategies will propel your team to a higher degree of effectiveness and achievement.  Want to learn more?  Join 3Back for our new course targeted at teams and meeting dynamics, 4MAT for Scrum Teams.