“Meetings” Articles and Posts

No one likes to meet, but some meetings are necessary. And when a meeting is necessary, it’s worth knowing as much as possible about how to get the most out of that meeting, whether it’s sprint planning, daily scrum, review, retrospective, product backlog grooming, release planning or any other agile or Scrum meeting.

4 Reasons to Include Developers in Story Writing

Participants in my Certified ScrumMaster courses are often surprised when I recommend that programmers participate in story-writing workshops. After all, a story-writing workshop is a meeting targeted at determining the functionality to be built next. I like to do story-writing workshops about quarterly to focus on bigger initiatives. But some projects will do story writing every sprint.

Regardless of how often these meetings occur, I think it's vital that programmers, testers, database engineers,...

Providing Feedback to Team Members

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here.

Even if you've taken the often stated agile stance of getting rid of periodic performance reviews in your organization, it can still be helpful to provide people with some commentary on how their work is perceived by others in the organization.

Backlog Grooming: Who Should Attend and How to Maximize Value

I was recently interviewed for an upcoming agile textbook written by Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan, and they asked me some questions about backlog grooming, such as who should attend, how to maximize the value and if the meetings can ever be fun. I’d like to share with you my thoughts on those questions today.

Breaking the Daily Scrum Time Box

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here.

Standard Scrum advice is that the daily scrum is strictly time boxed to fifteen minutes. Don’t dare let it go any longer than that. I want to share an example of how I sometimes have…

Avoid Taking Notes During the Daily Scrum

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here.

On a consulting engagement a few years ago, the VP who had brought me had me start the day observing a few daily scrums. In each meeting I noticed the different ScrumMasters appeared…

A Weighty Matter for the Daily Scrum

The problem of some individuals rambling on and on and on and on ... during the daily scrum has been with us probably since the first sprint. I recently came across a brilliant technique to help encourage people to keep it short.

Whoever is giving their update during the daily scrum needs to hold a 3 kilogram (6-1/2 pound) medicine ball at arm's length. This is light enough that you can hold the medicine ball while giving your updated, but it's heavy enough that you don't want to give a long update.

Let’s Save that Discussion for the Sixteenth Minute

Many teams struggle with keeping the daily scrum short. Some teams even exceed the standard fifteen-minute time box on a routine basis. I was teaching a Certified Scrum Master course a couple of weeks ago and someone there mentioned a great idea that I want to share.

When someone in the daily scrum starts to say something that would go deeper or beyond the traditional scope...

Daily Scrum: Not Just for ScrumMasters

I never refer to the daily scrum (or daily standup) meeting as a "status meeting." The term "status meeting" is too pejorative for most of us. For me it conjures images of sitting around a table with each person giving an update to a project manager while everyone else feigns interest while either mentally preparing for their own upcoming update or wondering how much longer…

GASPing About the Product Backlog

I've been wondering lately if Scrum is on the verge of getting a new standard meeting--the Backlog Grooming Meeting, which is a meeting an increasing number of teams are doing each sprint to make sure the product backlog is prepared and ready for the start of the next sprint.

To see why a Backlog Grooming Meeting may be a few years away from becoming a Generally Accepted Scrum Practice, or what I call a GASP, let's revisit the early 2000s.