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.
- 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.
- 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 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.