Meetings are the alternative to work! (i.e. scrum)



  • Hi

    There is a business analyst where I work that does nothing but book meetings all day. Even for the simplest tasks she books a meeting or sends an email requesting a meeting (pre-meeting request emails). For example, I would send her a file to audit, but rather then her looking at it she tries to book a meeting with everyone. At virtually every chance I have given her in the last few weeks to actually do some grunt work she has booked a meeting. During the meetings she conveniently finds another reason book another meeting and the process goes on. All she does is sit on her fat ass in the meeting and gets other people to solve her problems. When faced with a situation where she has to answer a business question she simply redefines the question and asks it again in another meeting. The problem is that the directors and managers all think she is doing her job.

    To make maters worse my company has recently adopted the scrum methodology. Sadly, these scrum meetings have given her the excuse to book recurring meetings with the developers every day.

    Does anyone have any experience dealing with a meeting junkie? If so, how did you expose them?



  • Well, for starters, you can show all the work you've given her that remains undone or was done by others. 

    Additionally, begin declining one meeting request from her a day.  As a reason, say "This will cut into my development time and I have a deadline."



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Well, for starters, you can show all the work you've given her that remains undone or was done by others. 

    Additionally, begin declining one meeting request from her a day.  As a reason, say "This will cut into my development time and I have a deadline."

    "I don't care. Learn to manage your time, work saturdays, whatever. Stop being negative, and be a team player.
    Now we have to schedule a meeting to decide when it's the next meeting".

    (I'm working on my manager sk1llz)



  • Previously, I had decided to not reply to meeting requests for several hours, but now with the recurring Scrum meetings it is pointless.

    If I decline meetings she will most likely give me the 'Not a team player" bullshit just as you described.

    I always thought that meeting junkies were in the realm of fiction or some funny comic strips.
    When you actually have to work with one it is like a persistent and undying WTF.

    The strange thing is that managers all seem to like them or they become completely ignorant to their behavior.



  • Scrum is actually pretty strictly defined I think. It's not about sitting around a table with an agenda, it's about a short meetingin in the morning, talking about what you're going to do that day and what problems you have. Discuss those briefly, and start working. Then the next day you discuss briefly what problems you have encountered, what you're going to do today, etc.. etc..It's also not about discussing those problems in depth, more like throwing it in the group and getting some quick feedback.

    Perhaps you could have a slightely longer milestone meeting once a week or bi-weekly or something, but the scrum itself isn't supposed to last for more then 5-15 minutes or so.

    At least, that's how it got explained to me, I'm (happily) not a scrummaster 



  • @stratos said:

    Scrum is actually pretty strictly defined I think. It's not about sitting around a table with an agenda, it's about a short meetingin in the morning, talking about what you're going to do that day and what problems you have. Discuss those briefly, and start working. Then the next day you discuss briefly what problems you have encountered, what you're going to do today, etc.. etc..It's also not about discussing those problems in depth, more like throwing it in the group and getting some quick feedback.

    Perhaps you could have a slightely longer milestone meeting once a week or bi-weekly or something, but the scrum itself isn't supposed to last for more then 5-15 minutes or so.

    At least, that's how it got explained to me, I'm (happily) not a scrummaster 

    IMO anything that can be discussed in less than 20 minutes it's not worth a meeting.

    Anything above 30 minutes, is not "brief". At least not brief enough to make it a daily routine, since we all know that a "30 minutes meetings" are almost always double than that.

    And there lies the problem. There is not such a thing as a "brief" on a meeting with meeting junkies. They do not have real human relationships, so that's the way these people relate to others. It's their only way to feel the human warmth...

    ... that and hiring hookers



  • @stratos said:

    but the scrum itself isn't supposed to last for more then 5-15 minutes or so.

    Usually this coems with the suggestion to have the meeting in a hallway and standing. This re-enforces the point that this is a quick team meeting used only for making sure everyone is on goal and clearing up miscommunication issues.



  • Does she use Outlook or somesuch to see your existing bookings and schedule around them?

    If so, fill it up with other bogus 'meetings'. Then you can decline because you have a meeting. Or if it drags out, you'll be 'late for your next meeting'.

    I have to confess to using the 'booking a meeting' thing myself - not the way she does, to avoid actually working - but to get people off my back so I can get some work done. If someone calls, they'll need to make a meeting with me if it isn't a quick question.



  • 1. Book working time just like you would book meeting time.  Schedule a 3-4 hour block whichis closed for meetings.

    2. Decline meetings.  Who cares if she calls you not a team player.  Unless she is your manager, then you should talk to your manager about the problem.

    3. If you are doing scrum meetings, then bring this up during that meeting as something that is holding you up.  (Just say, there are too many meetings for me to get my work done.  I only have 1 hour open today for development).  The scrum master should then step in and try to fix the problem.



  • @fatdog said:

    "I don't care. Learn to manage your time, work saturdays, whatever. Stop being negative, and be a team player. <snip> (I'm working on my manager sk1llz)
    Whoa, that was pretty good actually. Reminded me of my boss.



  • @DOA said:

    Whoa, that was pretty good actually. Reminded me of my boss.

    Really? You think so? blushes
    I'm a boss now, and I was afraid I was being too soft on my subordinates.

    Now stop fucking around on the forum and go do something productive.



  • @fatdog said:

    @DOA said:
    Whoa, that was pretty good actually. Reminded me of my boss.

    Really? You think so? blushes
    I'm a boss now, and I was afraid I was being too soft on my subordinates.

    Now stop fucking around on the forum and go do something productive.

    Just because you your own pile of straw to sleep on doesn't mean you're the burro's boss, Mexican.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Just because you your own pile of straw to sleep on doesn't mean you're the burro's boss, Mexican.

    I could reply to your comment, but I'm too busy bossing around my two burros to bother with you.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     I've worked on quite a few Scrum teams before - the one that worked the absolute best had a few developers who were MILITANT about the 15-minute rule and would loudly complain and walk away. This was only annoying when someone had an epic problem and most of the team had devolved into spitting out ideas (which is strictly speaking not part of the scrum process, but IMO essential to actually using it to do anything other than get you away from the keyboard for 15 minutes)

     

    I was also on one where the scrum meeting consisted of a digested listserv which would check read-receipts. That was awesome, actually.



  • @Weng said:

    I was also on one where the scrum meeting consisted of a digested listserv which would check read-receipts. That was awesome, actually.

    Yeah, I could see that working. Although a pet hate of mine is read receipts. I set my client to send them automatically so the stupid sucker who requests them can have their spam while I don't. It still doesn't mean I read the damned thing.



  • Thus far, I have concluded that Scrum is bullshit.

    Now, I'm sure there are many people teaching that crap making all kinds of money. I'll bet there are companies paying consultants outrageous fees for it. The sad thing is that when it is actually implemented it is a big waste of time and nothing but an annoyance.

    When you have a good team you don't need a stupid processes to save your ass. Ultimately, success boils down to having smart people that will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

    Only with a team of idiots or lazy ass people do you need Scrum.


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