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The agile paradox: flexibility through structure - Part 1: An agile meeting structure

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At first glance, agility sometimes seems contradictory. Apparently, a structure is supposed to provide more flexibility. In this series of articles I show you examples of this agile paradox and how it fits in the end.

A meeting now?

When one speaks of agility, it often means that one should critically question regular meetings and, if necessary, delete them. At the same time, the introduction of agile methods adds new meetings every two weeks: regular backlog refinements, reviews and retrospectives. How does that fit together?

The worry seems justified at first, because if you suddenly formulate goals every 2 weeks that need to be achieved, you will probably invest more time with this planning than if you only proceed on a quarterly basis and roughly determine which topics you want to work on.

The framework for fast learning

The advantage of this faster rhythm is that teams can enter a feedback loop with the (internal or external) customer every two weeks to find out whether the customer benefit actually occurs. This early customer feedback on the prototype created in the two weeks enables the newly learned to be taken into account in the subsequent sprint.

The regular meetings within the framework of the sprint cycles create the opportunity to learn quickly and open up the opportunity to correct the course regularly if the goals obviously cannot be achieved. The added value of this learning speed usually outweighs the time invested for the agile meeting structure.

Conclusion

Long-term meeting cycles are a major threat to quick learning and agile work. The meetings created through agile work take time, but they provide the necessary space to create significantly faster learning and thus better long-term customer benefits.

To the point

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