Don't Have a Meeting, Have an Event!

Posted by Laurens Bonnema on Apr 2, 2020 5:38:58 PM

This blog is the first in a series of five: Remote Working Scrum Events, Done Right.

At Xebia, we use Meeteor's checklists to determine if we need to meet, be it in-person or online. This saves a lot of time, and ensures that we have a solid reason for each meeting.

Meeteor's Meeting Funnel:
  • Do you know what you need to move forward? If so, proceed, if not, figure out exactly what you need before proceeding.
  • Do you need others to make progress? If so, proceed, if not, plan your next steps and get to work.
  • Do you know who will provide what you need? If so, proceed, if not, decide who must be engaged and who should be kept in the loop before proceeding.
  • Is a meeting the right format? Do you need real-time interaction and synergy? If so, proceed, if not, try using an alternative form of collaboration such as email, chat, or a shared document.
  • Thoughtfully prepare for the meeting.

Dont have a meeting have a meeting v1

Meeteor's Reasons to Meet:

Decide. Make a decision so that work can move forward.
Ideate. Brainstorm a list of potential ideas, solutions, or questions for further exploration.
Produce. Collaborate to accomplish a specific output.
Plan. Strategize or outline steps to achieve a result.
Align. Generate shared understanding of complex information.
Connect. Build stronger relationships among participants.

When we invite people to a meeting, we state the determined reason(s) to meet, as well as the desired outcome, and goals for that outcome. Also, we level-up the meeting to make it into an event by following the online and rules below.

Suggested Outline for Remote Events:

  • Allow 5 minutes for set-up and banter.
  • Consider doing a quick grounding exercise, e.g. box-breathing. 
  • State objective, intended outcome, and timebox.
  • Explain agenda, chosen approach, and rules for the event.
  • Establish pace and rhythm. 
  • Get after it! 
  • Send out notes and action items right after the event.

Rules for Remote Events:

  • Everyone joins from a quiet place with headphones and video on with audio muted and system set to gallery view. 
  • Only unmute and talk when called upon by the host. Signal you want to talk by raising your hand. 
  • Agree on a signal to use when you want the event to move on. 
  • Be present, or don’t be there, and agree on a mechanism to tune out temporarily if necessary. No multi-tasking! 
  • Keep focus and pace through collaborative moderation.
  • At regular intervals, do something to (re)engage/energize all participants. Set a timer to ensure this happens. 
  • Practice Radical Candorto get, give, and encourage guidance and feedback on the event as it unfolds. 

Pro-tip: Remind participants a day before, on the day of, and 15 minutes before the event that it is happening and how to prepare for it in terms of tech and input.

Go to the next blog: Remote Sprint Planning


This blog is the first of a series: Remote Working Scrum Events, Done Right by Laurens Bonnema, Marianne Pot, Marnix van Wendel de Joode (Business Agility Consultants and Scrum Boosters) and Laïla Nouijeh (Scrum Master at PGGM).

Save 33% on your next virtual classroom.
Remote Learning is possible via our Virtual Classroom. Learn from the world’s leading experts. Our courses and locations have been aligned to support distance learning.

Topics: Agile Transformations, Digital Strategy