Weekly Team Meetings

Conventional weekly team meetings usually start with a round of excuses, where everybody tells why (s)he did not succeed in what they were supposed to do. There is a lot of discussion about the work that was supposed to be done, and when the time of the meeting is gone, new tasks are hardly discussed.

This is not a big problem, because most participants have to continue their unfinished work anyway. The project manager notes the new target dates of the delayed activities and people continue their work. After the meeting the project manager may calculate how much reserve ("slack", "contingency", "buffer") time is left, or how much the project is delayed if all reserve has already been used. In many projects we see that project planning sheets (MS Project) are mainly used as expensive wall-paper. They are hardly updated and the actual work and the plan-on-the-wall diverge more and more every week.

In the weekly Evo team meeting, we only discuss new work, never past work. We do not waste time for excuses. What is past we cannot change. What we still should do is constantly re-prioritised, so we always work on what is best from this moment. We don't discuss past tasks because they are finished. If discussion starts about the new tasks, we still can use the results in our coming work. That can be useful. Still, if the discussion is between only a few participants, it'd better be postponed till after the meeting, not to waste the others' time.

Of course, in Evo, sometimes tasks are not finished. We are all people, and people are not infallible. However, we use effective mechanisms to solving this problem. Look at Commitment, and Weekly Cycles.