Behaviour and protocol

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Behaviour and protocol

How to facilitate team meetings

This document serves as a guideline for facilitating team meetings in Abtion and can be used as a reference. It’s not an exhaustive list, and not all points are relevant for all meetings, but can serve as inspiration.

Actions

  • Kick the meeting off at an appropriate time.
  • Share screen to support conversation - display the agenda if relevant.
    • Make sure not to keep the video meeting screen for a long time. It makes the participants dizzy.
  • Show the workboard and move cards around as needed.
  • Delegate the task of creating cards or making notes along the way (that way, a traditional summary shouldn’t be necessary).
  • Get the ball rolling - ask someone to start if no one does.
  • Keep an eye on the clock and pace the meeting accordingly (use Time-Timers).
  • Keep an eye on the agenda to make sure we don’t miss anything.
  • Guide team through the agenda, what phase are we currently in?
  • Round off the meeting in an orderly fashion.
    • Give participants a chance to realize that the meeting is close to an end, so they can share any final thoughts.
    • Reiterate the most important takeaways from the meeting.
    • Make sure everyone knows what to do next.

Reactions

  • Remind people how much time they have.
  • Ask people to speed up if needed.
  • Ask people to wrap up if their point has already come across.
  • Close down irrelevant discussions - postpone or handle “offline”.
  • Keep the ball rolling if conversations die out.
  • Sum up the discussion so far or ask follow-up questions.

Specific for planning meetings

  • Do countdown for estimates so team members don’t influence each other.
  • Make sure the board reflects reality.
  • Go through columns of the board and move cards that are misplaced - what’s actually in progress and what’s blocked?
  • Update timeline if relevant.

Specific for standup and show & tell

  • Have ready what is going to be displayed. Make sure that you are in a safe environment where you can create data. The data that is being shown should give a good overview of how the application will work in a production environment.
  • Make sure that everyone has their turn (“Throw the ball” is a good enabler of collective responsibility).

Specific for retro

  • Revisit actions from last time.
  • Set a limit for the time spent on writing cards and voting
  • Cap the time spent on discussing specific cards - create an action card for a seperate discussion if needed.
  • Make sure every action item has an assignee.
  • When the meeting is over clear the Try and Keep columns and post actions from the Do column in slack.

Feedback

Feedback is important in order to become a better facilitator. Feel free to ask for it at any time, and let’s all make an effort to give good and constructive feedback to all facilitators.