Tag: meetings

Doing your job well does not entail attending more meetings

There’s a lot of swearing in this blog post, but then that’s what makes it both amusing and bang on the money. As ever, there’s a difference between ‘agile’ as in “working with agility” and ‘Agile’ which seems to mean a series of expensive workshops and a semi-dysfunctional organisation.

Just as I captured Jay’s observation that a reward is not more email, so doing your job well does not entail attending more meetings.

Which absolute fucking maniac in this room decided that the most sensible thing to do in a culture where everyone has way too many meetings was schedule recurring meetings every day? Don’t look away. Do you have no idea how terrible the average person is at running a meeting? Do you? How hard is it to just let people know what they should do and then let them do it. Do you really think that, if you hired someone incompetent enough that this isn’t an option, that they will ever be able to handle something as complicated as software engineering?


No one else finds this meeting useful. Let me repeat that again. No one else finds this meeting useful. We’re either going to do the work or we aren’t going to do the work, and in either case, I am going to pile-drive you from the top rope if you keep scheduling these.


If your backlog is getting bigger, then work is going into it faster than it is going out. Why is that happening? Fuck if I know, but it is probably totally unrelated to not doing Agile well enough.


High Output Management was the most highly-recommended management book I could find that wasn’t an outright textbook. Do you know what it says at the beginning? Probably not, because the kind of person that I am forced to choke out over their love of Agile typically can’t read anything that isn’t on LinkedIn. It says work must go out faster than it goes in, and all of these meetings obviously don’t do either of those things.


The three best managers I’ve ever worked for, with the most productive teams (at large organizations, so don’t even start on the excuses about scale) just let the team work and were there if I needed advice or a discussion, and they afforded me the quiet dignity of not hiring clowns to work alongside me.

Source: I Will Fucking Haymaker You If You Mention Agile Again | Ludicity

Image: Unsplash

Meetings as exercises in power

Meetings are one of the major ways in which power is demonstrated and exercised in hierarchical organisations. Trusting people and leaving them alone to get on with stuff is more productive, but work isn’t always about productivity (sadly).

Meeting abstention: Anyone invited to an internal meeting has the power to opt-out. “Send me the summary, please.” If someone abstains, they give up their ability to have a say in the meeting, but most meetings these days don’t actually give people a platform to have a say. And then that person can leave the Zoom room and get back to whatever it is they were doing that was actually productive.

Meeting nullification: If anyone in an internal meeting announces that the meeting is a pointless waste of time, it’s over. The meeting organizer is obligated to send everyone the memo that they probably should have sent in the first place.

Source: Meeting nullification | Seth’s Blog