A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Meeting Minutes

I once read a blog post that said there shouldn’t be any meeting minutes in the world of Agile because:
1) the absence of minutes will force people to attend meetings
2) every moment a developer is forced to document is a lost opportunity to write code.
3) meeting minutes will undermine collaboration by – you guessed it – enabling people to miss meetings.

So if it weren’t for those pesky meeting notes, developers and business owners would go to the meetings instead of watching their kindergardener’s holiday plays, attending funerals, taking a sick day, going to the dentist, or waiting for AAA to fix the flat tire?
So, following that logic, you take them away, and folks willl straighten up and haul their sorry kid-applauding, condolence-spewing, virus-harboring, floss-neglecting, side-of-the-road-loafing asses to the scrum meeting where they belong. Assuming they don’t trip on the hubris on the way to the meeting room.

Come on now. Lighten up. People miss meetings. Eliminating meeting documentation doesn’t make it happen less often. It just magnifies the loss in productivity when it does happen.

But no one really reads them. Really? I just read some today because I had to – uh – miss a meeting. Plus, I wrote some meeting notes last week. That act prevented needing another meeting when a colleague was asked to present insights from that meeting to his boss. Would writing them on his hand be more Agile than having a brief, cohesive synopsis of what we discovered? There are wikis, Sharepoint, MeetingSense – it need not take more than a few minutes to document.

Scrums are supposed to be progress meetings, but they’re frequently more than that. Opinions are sought. Decisions are made. Commitments are pledged. They deserve to be quickly recorded. Don’t want to take the extra few minutes? How long is a “we need to get Brad up to speed” verbal briefing take out of a 15-minute scrum? How long does a call-and-response chorus of “but you said…”, “no, I believe I said” take to resolve?

Write it down already.

2 thoughts on “A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Meeting Minutes”

    1. You raise some good comments, I do want to strses though (and I’m sure you think the same) that followed with specifics needs to be concise and to the point. If a topic needs more than a couple of minutes to explain, this should not be done on the stand-up.The being on time is one of the hardest parts and something you have to enforce as a scrum master. I remember we had a pot that you had to put 1 euro in whenever you were late. After a while everyone was on time which was not that good either because the pot was for rounds of beers in the pub friday evening.

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