8 Tips to Conduct your Agile Meetings Successfully

8 Tips to Conduct your Agile Meetings Successfully
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In today’s organizational work culture, meetings are more prominent than ever before. Where everything and anything is a project, meetings are the backbone of organizational agility. With increased adoption of Agile project management, Agile meetings are central to drive the conversation flow and tap into the collective insight of the team which drives your project journey to where you want it to go.

There are instances where people say Agile meetings are the first source of frustration as they start late, run for long periods, without any end product and have a very poor follow-up rates. It is due to this reason, people complain about meetings and are seen as time-consumers. Wrong, whether it is a face-to-face or a virtual Agile meeting, they are the heart of your organization with regards to agility. It is very important to conduct regular meetings, which can save your valuable time, restrain from chaos, and avoid full-blown crises. Below mentioned are some of the key tips to conduct your Agile meetings successfully in your organization.

  1. Create meeting patterns which have proper frequency of regular meetings

    Your meeting matrix needs to have all the necessary details in the form of the name of the meeting; frequency, attendees list, objectives/agenda; inputs and outputs; calendar of scheduled meetings. The key here is to get the balance correct while making these frequent, face-to-face meetings or virtual Agile meetings. Organizers should decide on what is the right frequency, whether there has been a gap long enough for sufficient activity – and the right time – who is traveling and from where. By creating these meeting patterns, these Agile meetings will be well attended and more time will be spent on discussing the right information.

  2. Analyze your meeting matrix to add, remove or modify your Agile meetings

    At the end of the day, your Agile meetings should deliver value. So, start analyzing your Agile meetings see which are not working well, remove those meetings from your meeting matrix and add those which you want to be having but you do not have them on your agenda. By doing this you will be modifying your Agile meeting matrix which gives you the maximum output.

    Expert Tip: Get those cross-functional meetings in your agenda to overcome the existing archaic mentality out of the system.

  3. Getting your Agile meeting structure right

    It is seen that most of the Agile meetings give 10 minutes for every person, but not to report and what they are doing but to discuss about their colleagues. Especially face-to-face meetings are a bad place to share information, as people and issues naturally dominate the discussion on the real problems would not get addressed at all. Hence, it is very important to have the right structure to the meeting with more focus around the discussion of information is required. Ensure briefing papers are given to the attendees and has been read beforehand. You should also consider having a designated timekeeper to keep a check on your Agile meetings.

  4. Conduct your Agile meetings first thing in the morning

    According to Forbes’ Insights Report on business meetings, it says that 84% prefer face-to-face meetings than technology-enabled meetings. With such stats, it is imperative that you conduct your Agile meetings first thing in the morning face-to-face when everybody is fresh and their cognitive skills are at a higher level.

    Industry experts believe, these face-to-face Agile meetings should happen daily and not once in a week / month. Yes, eyebrows will be raised, to begin with, but once you begin with it, you cannot let go of it. It is the best way to start the day and one can focus on what needs to be done for the rest of the. Even if one misses a meeting, they know that they will be right back to speed in the next one. Daily Agile meetings increase the overall agility of the organization with improved communication and collaboration of the team where you can get done more with less.

  5. Ensure discipline is followed throughout the Agile meetings

    Team attending these meetings should be taught the right ways to use time during the Agile meetings and make sure they follow them. The scrum master should facilitate regular daily meeting times and make sure you do not change the meeting times as Scrum requires the right discipline. Moreover, every team member should participate in this meeting, as in most cases senior members hesitate to join the discussion. Also, there are certain best practices that need to be implemented like ensuring the team does not update their sprint backlogs, and all team members are present till the end of the meeting.

  6. Have a designated timekeeper or time-box everything

    According to Atlassian’s infographic, it suggests that companies in the US alone lose up to ~USD 37 billion on salary cost of unnecessary meetings. So set aside the designated time for each activity in the meeting, and make sure they stick to it. For instance, a meeting usually lasts for about 45 minutes and anything more than that you will see the attention levels wane. Get people used to the fact that you will cut them short if they are not able to finish, they have to learn how to get it down to the time made available to them. With this, your Agile meetings will be short and will address all the important objectives that the meeting was convened for.

  7. Set the mood for your meetings

    In another Forbes report, it says that executives spend close to 18 hours in a week, and an estimated 25-50% of that time is wasted. When you conduct your Agile meetings early in the morning, it is not like everybody is geared up for the meeting, each individual will be going through their own emotions and you need to break that to get the right mood for your meeting. You can do that by injecting some positivity by sharing a joke, an inspirational quote, and even some light music can pave the way to set the mood and broaden their state of mind. The instant positivity early in the meeting will help people to get intellectually and emotionally engaged.

  8. Hit the middle ground with good decisions

    In today’s fast-paced world, we do not have time for those slow / perfect decisions to make. If you think there is too much of an organizational politics where those critical meeting decisions turn into a bureaucratic decision with meeting after meeting on the same issue. It is not like one should be making quick and impulsive decisions but find the middle ground that facilitates dialog with a sense of urgency to reach fast consensus from one and all.

    There are many other ways where you can ensure your Agile meetings are more productive and successful. It is of paramount importance for the Scrum Master to head the meeting with the right discipline and involve all the stakeholders to get the best out of an ongoing project. Do let us know in the comments section about your Agile meeting experience and what are the best practices that you or the team incorporate to get the best out of those meetings.

Invensis Learning specializes in providing Agile certification training course in PMI-ACP. We also offer courses related to ITSM, Project Management, IT Security and Governance, Quality Management, DevOps, Cloud Courses and Digital Awareness. If you would like to know more about the benefits of Project Management certifications for your career, call our training consultant now on: USA +1-910-726-3695; UK +44 2033-223-280; Hong Kong +852-5803-9039; Switzerland +41-22-518-2042; Germany +49-2119-5987-989; Denmark +45 8988-4544; Netherlands +31 202-622-348; Australia +61 253-002-805; IND +91-96202-00784. Or email support {at} invensislearning {dot} com today.

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Arvind Rongala, an engineer by education, has deep experience of serving the IT-BPO industry for more than 8 years. With his keen interest in the learning and development sector, Arvind spearheaded the launch of Invensis Learning as the training and certification arm of Invensis Technologies. As the Director of Invensis Learning, and with offices in the US, India, and Australia, he ensured the company became a trusted training partner for many Fortune 1000 clients and gain global recognition in a short span of time. { YourStory.com has featured a story about Arvind about his achievements over the years. } With his expertise in Project Management, IT Service Management, Quality Management, and IT Security Governance, he has been a guest author for various popular digital publications such as Business Insider, Business today, Project Times, Customer Think, Tech Sling, and Businessworld.
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