Thursday, March 1, 2012

WSJ and the stand-up meeting

In the check-out line at the grocer I glanced at the Wall Street Journal (print edition) and right there on page 1, albeit below the fold, was an article extolling the stand-up meeting.

Has this gone main-stream? I mean really!--the front page of the WSJ? Isn't there the Euro-crises or something to take up that valuable real estate?

But no, we learn this bit:
Holding meetings standing up isn't new. Some military leaders did it during World War I, according to Allen Bluedorn, a business professor at the University of Missouri.

But then reporter Rachel Emma Sliverman goes on to explain the agile phenomenon and the agilists adoption of the stand-up meeting.

And, there's some interesting metrics that comport intuitively with what you would imagine:
.... a study back in 1998 that found that standing meetings were about a third shorter than sitting meetings and the quality of decision-making was about the same.

And, we learn the humorous stuff, like:
  • Playing Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" to keep the pace up
  • Passing around a 10 pound bowling ball
  • Passing around a rubber chicken
  • Charging a nominal fee for tardiness or verbosity
Not to miss out on an opportunity, the American entrepreneur is at work:
Office outfitters are responding by designing work spaces with standing sessions in mind. Furniture maker Steelcase Inc.'s Turnstone division, for example, recently introduced the "Big Table," a large standing-height table designed for quick meetings.

And then of course, the ultimate stand-up is no gathering at all; it's a variant of the traditional "sit-down"
At, a Toronto-based company that makes online accounting software, teams try to do daily 10 a.m. stand-ups. But on days when everyone is too swamped to gather around the company Ping-Pong table, team members will shout out their status updates from their desks, which are arranged in a circle.

They call those meetings "sit-downs."
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