There are no meetings in Scrum!

Well isn’t that great? Your team is now supposed to do Scrum and now there is another set of meetings cutting into the time you would rather use to actually get something done.

In popularity, ”meetings” tend to be viewed as enjoyable as a dentist appointment. We have books like ”death by meeting”, lean-gurus go on about meeting as waste, and yes, I have actually seen someone trying to schedule a dentist appointment just to get out of a sprint planning meeting ;-)

Fine, except that there are no ”meetings” in Scrum…

Scrum is a team based approach to solving complex problems. One of the basic ideas is that people together, with a variety of skills and views, can better solve such problems than each individual alone. This I am sure you know from experience. Even just describing your thinking to others often help.

So, the idea in Scrum is that it is useful if people work together in various ways all day long. How this is done, is mostly left up to people doing the work to decide.

Scrum does have some suggestions on how to spend a small bit of all that time that your team spends working together. Like planning what to do and how to work together on something and then evaluating the results after.

These are not meetings though. These are working sessions where each individual is fully focused on the collective task, participates every minute by learning or contributing and leaves feeling energized from new insights and happy from all the progress that was made in such a short time.

A very different session compared to what we usually call meetings. From all the meetings we all have had to endure, the word ”meeting” is probably beyond saving, so maybe we should just stop using it.

For complex work, it is useful for people to work together. That does not make it a meeting. It is just people getting the job done together in the best way they can.

By the way, if you are doing some Scrum activities and they feel like traditional ”meetings”, this is something for you to think about and improve. It is not mandatory to get bored and waste your time in Scrum. Quite the opposite. Perhaps once someone told you there was going to be a ”meeting”, so you did set up a traditional meeting. This is understandable.

Well, now you know better, so just get your people together and figure out how to do it in a better way. In a way that builds your spirit instead of kills it!

Don’t settle for less.

Henrik

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