Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why a good meeting room matters

Scrum has a set of ceremonies that are conducted in a meeting atmosphere.
They are Planning, Refinement, Review and Retrospective. All of them are essential to a well functioning Scrum team.
Let us de-scope the Daily Standup here, because it should be conducted in the team room anyways.

But you can't just have the meeting anywhere.
Here are a few factors of inadequate rooms:

  • A noisy room causes distraction and breaks the focus. Keep the interfering outside noise level at a minimum.
  • A dimly-lit room might make people sleepy and add difficulty towards both noting down information and reading notes. You need sufficient lighting. At the same time, avoid scorching lights.
  • A crammed room discourages moving around, which both decreases the energy level and the potential for interactive problem solving methods. Everyone needs the freedom to move around unhindered.
  • If the team is exposed to external scrutiny, this may reduce trust and willingness to discuss critical problems.
    Especially for the Retro, you will require a secluded environment where the team has privacy to discuss even highly political or personal issues.

It is completely valid to ask "Is our meeting room adequate?" - and treat "No" as an impediment to resolve.

Try to get the best possible space for the meetings to make them sufficiently productive.
If your team does not have access to adequate meeting space in the office, consider renting external facilities. It is better to pay a bit of money for space than to reduce team effectiveness.

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