3

My team is working remotely because of the pandemic and project velocity has dropped. The Scrum master has suggested we move to three standups (so one before every 2 hours of core hours) to keep people accountable and so the project manager can have a very real time view of what is going on with the project.

Employees are allowed to work anywhere between 7 and 7. Core hours are 9 to 3. So we would have standups are 9, 11, and 1.

I don't see this as increasing productivity, but the team lead is resigned to just doing whatever the SM or product owner wants while putting mean comments in the group chat.

I want to know what kind of arguments I can put against this.

3
  • 2
    Has the project ground to a halt or ar you like doing 70~80%? It is totally unrealistic to expect people to pump out the same productivity in the middle of a pandemic, with everyone locked at home, dealing with anxiety, fear, homeschooling, relatives falling ill (or worst), friends losing jobs,.... Jul 11 '20 at 18:42
  • 2
    This is a multi-national site and is used by people all over the world from many cultures. Something you and your friends might find humorous might go down like a lead balloon with other people. I suggest you change your name.
    – RedSonja
    Jul 13 '20 at 5:04
  • Josh Fluke's take on it. Jul 16 '20 at 16:04
23

Hold meetings every two hours to increase productivity? That's just an obvious plain crazy idea. How can this even be considered seriously?

However if you really need arguments against this idea.

  • As said before, more time in meetings = more time not doing any actual work.

  • Most of the time nothing meaningful will have changed in the last two hours. It's like watching the six'o clock news, the eight'o clock news and the ten'o clock news.

What should be done instead is hold one thorough investigation why the project velocity is down. Are you and/or your other team members slacking off? Are there problems with the remote working setup? Something else?

6

Every standup will cost over half an hour in lost productivity. See this article in particular the cited scientific study. There's a reason scrum standups normally take place at the start of the day - the idea is they help get you started, not interrupt you once you have focus.

So two questions - is it true? Is team productivity down? If so you must have an inkling WHY? Is it a particular developer or two, or everyone? Are YOU less productive? If you know why, then you need to discuss this with the team lead, who should be doing the same with whoever is putting pressure on them. Come up with an alternate solution to improve both productivity and monitoring.

Note - on the latter front, my guess is the Tasks are too big. If a scrum task is expected to take longer than a day, it's too big imo and needs breaking down into smaller chunks. Obviously sometimes what's expected to take a day takes longer - that's expected, but if developers are being left to plod through a 2 week project with only verbal assurances as to where they are, then it's no wonder the Product Manager is getting concerned.

2
  • Half an hour is a low estimate. You lose the 15 minutes of the standups itself, plus the time before that when you don't start anything new in anticipation of the meeting, plus the time it takes to ramp up your productivity after the meeting.
    – Llewellyn
    Jul 12 '20 at 15:41
  • Well that's why I said at least. My gut feeling is its closer to an hour. I was trying to stick with what the research states.
    – tonydev314
    Jul 12 '20 at 20:55
2

The arguments against it are that it is more time in meetings and less time doing work, and that morale may decrease because it gives the feeling of being micromanaged.

However, I suggest that you take a more cooperative approach. You admit productivity is down. You can raise your concerns, but ultimately, express interest and willingness to resolve the problem, then give it you best shot. This will help because 1. it's almost certainly going to happen anyway, 2. a cooperative attitude will help demonstrate that you are trying and your superiors are more likely roll back changes rather than up the ante, 3. it builds trust within your organization to approach problems that way, and finally 4. it may work, and being positive gives it the best chance for success.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .