August 9, 2004

Death by Meeting

While I was on vacation I wanted to read a light-hearted business book. I like to have something to spin around in my head during the downtime. Death by Meeting was recommended to me and it fit the bill just right.

First of all, this book is a business fable and some may find that really annoying. It’s a very fast read. Even though it weighs in at over 200 pages you flip through them very quickly.

The basic premise of this is that most meetings are not worthwhile and the author suggests how to make them more productive. To cut to the chase he suggests that meetings neet to have an intent that is more defined. Ultimately coming to four types of meetings that a company or division should have on different schedules. It’s interesting and I know I have personally seem many of the problems that the author points out about existing meetings.

I found it particularly interesting to read this after reading Agile Software Development with Scrum. I found a lot of what Scrum talks about to be more of a discussion of the dynamics of people in the workplace, and much of what Death by Meeting goes over is similar — both in problem and solution. For example, Death by Meeting suggests that teams meet every day for a 5 minute check-in” meeting. This is identical in nature and intent to a daily Scrum meeting. Similar problems, similar solutions.

I won’t go into great detail on the book. Like I said, it’s a quick read and if you find the topic interesting I think it’s worth reading. I may try to take some of the concepts proposed and try to bring that into our environment at MarketWatch.


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