Meet the team

Hi there and welcome! Let's begin this week with a nice fresh post, mkay?

Today we'll cover the following topics:

  • How often should you meet the team?
  • What should we discuss?
  • How can you make them more productive and less boring?
Well, these seem like a lot of information but it's all quite simple if you take a closer look and use the system approach, which I never stop to preach =)

First of all, we suggest that you meet once a week. Choose a day (it better be monday or tuesday, not middle of the week) for such a meeting (sometimes these are called "status") so that everyone can plan it in their schedule. It's much more efficient if the whole team is present!

So, what should you discuss?
  • Changes (what have you done since last meeting)
  • Plans for the future (for guys to schedule them)
  • Ideas and new technologies (to keep team members informed)
  • Your corporate policies (for everyone to know them. This may seem of small importance but you shouldn't underestimate the power of corporate culture)
How to make these productive and not boring? Though team meetings are obligatory to attend they shouldn't be very formal. You must teach your people not to be late but you shouldn't make them feel like scholars at an exam. Relax and let everyone speak in his or her turn, say clock-wise or counter-clockwise.

You can take several techniques from Scrum - a very simple yet effective agile software development method (I suggest you read Scrum in 5 minutes - and it's easy and free!)

Here are some more productivity tips:
  • Ask your team members to keep it short, like 5 minutes per member. That will keep the meeting;
  • Keep documenting those meetings (maybe even record them on video so that those who missed them can watch'em and rewind the boring reports). That will also help you with discipline issues a bit but again don't make it too formal!
  • Ask questions! It will keep you in touch with the team and make them feel the importance of each report;
  • Write down all good ideas that you come up with;
  • If you are brainstorming (more on that later in the course) don't let anyone kill any ideas - team members have to improve them, not just tell they are bad and why. "I'll tell you how to make it work" is always better then "now that's why it won't work" - remember that!
More of these will be added later, I suggest that you follow the updates.

So what's the use of team meetings? They help you and other team members keep in touch with the project's timing, development and other issues. Sometimes you will even get valuable feedback from team members not involved in the project in question. All of these and much more benefits will help you save time and share the project development experience with all team members.

Check out the full contents of the future book for more info!

I'd like to know how helpful this advice was, add your comments here please! And as always - I will be more than pleased to answer any questions you might have so feel free to ask them ))