Everybody knows that nobody likes meetings. Try pulling a developer away in the midst of a coding binge without them groaning and sulking over to the conference table. Seen by some as a necessary evil, meetings are an essential component of team collaboration. The goal for successfully managing a creative development team isn’t to eliminate meetings, it’s to redefine them in a way that works for both the development team and the project managers. At Pelago, we rely on three types of meetings for internal collaboration.
The Monday Morning Breakfast Meeting
Want to get your developers and designers excited about the week? Buy them a big breakfast at your local diner. This is our most fun and most serious meeting of the week. We catch up on our weekends over coffee, omelets, and the occasional chilaquiles. And once the plates are cleared we get down to business. We review timesheets from the week previous and discuss our priorities for the week coming. By the time we arrive back at the office everyone has a full belly and a clear set of priorities and responsibilities.
The Sit Down Meeting
We usually have one or two more sit down meetings throughout the week. These are structured meetings with a defined agenda. An outline is presented on the white board and we work our way down it. The meeting is done when the last item has been amended with the green marker. These meetings rely on an agenda out in front for everyone to see. The agenda encourages participation, controls tangential discussions, and keeps our time to a minimum. Our developers and designers appreciate the predictability and see these meetings less as interruptions and more as productivity boosters.
The Stand Up Meeting
There are several times each week when we need a moment to get everyone on the same page or to tackle a development problem. These meetings are quick and focused on getting one thing done. We usually huddle around one computer and grapple with the issue at hand until a resolution is reached. Topics range from “could I get some eyes on this design comp?” to “anyone have any idea how to serialize this integer in postgreSQL without using sequence tables?” These collaborative powwows are a quick way to resolve issues and get everyone back on the same wavelength.
The Monday morning breakfast is an excellent idea. Will have to remember that one.