Daily Meetings

When I was working at a professional engineering services organization (86-95), we would frequently work on writing proposals to bid on government contracts (Tactical Naval Air stuff).

we had a specific room we outfitted with walls covered in cork board, called the War Room. This room served as a way to put up the overall proposal architecture and the individual sections and allow them to grow over time.

each day, we conducted Daily Stand-up Meetings. the intent was to:

  1. to *not* allow people to sit comfortably in their seats,
  2. to be able to quickly go through the team’s status,
  3. to see if there was anything holding people up, and
  4. to keep the vision at the fore of everybody’s mind.

personally, i grew averse to daily meetings of the mundane type at my first job (81-86) at the Naval Air Propulsion Center — where I did R&D on Cruise Missile jet engines. There was a daily meeting at the test facility wing. I remember being excited to have finally “earned my stripes” to be invited to attend this meeting. After all, important topics were presented regarding the test cell usage, scheduling, resource conflicts, etc. Important people would be there adjudicating amongst the competing projects.

However, after a while, I noticed it was often a hollow routine. Many people would sit in the same seats. Walk in the exact same footsteps (+/-5% error), say the exact same things. More ritual than substance. I stopped going except when I had very specific things to discuss for my team’s engine test plans.

So I always vowed to not fall in the trap of having habitual meetings that contained a high percentage of drivel.

To call daily meetings “scrum” is kind of funny now that I know more about rugby :-0 (Thanks to Heinz Kabutz asking his son to comment on the term “scrum” — dangerous, you can break your neck, you don’t want to be in the front row, you need to wear gum guards, because the opposition team will punch you in the face. Ouch!)

Where do your Daily Meetings fall on the scale of mundane to concise (to dangerous)?

2 thoughts on “Daily Meetings

  1. Java Donkey

    I’ve always hated daily meetings. I know it’s a part of the SCRUM development process but it seems to me to be a good way to not get anything done (unless the meetings are kept short and to the point). I do on the other hand believe firmly in the Agile practice of having developers located physically close to each other. Consider how long it takes to get a response via email as opposed to just asking the guy sitting right next to you.

  2. mikee

    daily meetings should be conducted ONLY under one condition…the process is so dynamic and changes impact so many people, that a stand-up meeting is the most practical way to communicate (assuming that the process cannot be changed in the first place). Daily status meetings are a sign of a lack of trust by management or lack of empowerment; neither of which is a healthy sign.

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