At Clay we have a very ambitious team consisting of twenty-five and counting highly skilled back-enders, front-enders, mobile app developers, a designer, product owner, marketing manager, content writer, sales representative, support, recruiter, DevOps and of course the very important QA department. That’s a mouth full! It goes without saying these talented individuals we call Bricks need day-to-day guidance to make sure the desired end product is delivered on time and in a customer ready manner without losing efficiency.
To us, meetings are not there to prove a point which in our belief never leads to positive action. We try to only invite the necessary Bricks to a meeting so it won’t get too crowded and it’s easier to accomplish the common goal. A crucial decision in a rapidly growing company like Clay.
Let us elaborate on how our teams structure their work with meetings that are meaningful:
The development team works with the agile development framework named Scrum. This framework makes sure projects can’t get behind schedule. The Scrum method has four types of meetings that together set up a nice safety net to ensure the sprint (the two weeks it takes to complete the current project) gets achieved:
Daily Scrum Or as we like to call it the ’stand-up' is a meeting of maximum 15 minutes with the development- and QA team to briefly go through the tasks of the day per person so we are all in sync of what we are working on. Fun fact: The stand-up can’t be executed sitting down to ensure the meeting will be as short and efficient as possible.
Sprint planning: Our Product Owner Medi is in charge of the Sprints backlog: All the projects that need to be accomplished in order of priority. In the planning meetings the product Owner defines the planning of the Sprint together with the back-end, front-end, embedded, QA and mobile teams.
Meetings can be fun and efficient. We like to see them as meaningful brainstorm sessions rather than sessions to repeat previously established information.
Sprint Review: Every two weeks on Friday afternoon everyone comes together for the Sprint Review meeting. In the Sprint Review meeting, the several completed tasks are presented. Not only the development and QA team will participate, but everyone in the company, so it’s clear for everyone where we stand and there’s a joined meeting to quickly gain insightful feedback.
Sprint Retrospective: A frequently hosted agile retrospective meeting will turn a group of individuals into an effective team. After the Sprint Review, we discuss how the two-week sprint process went during the Sprint retrospective: How can we make the previous two-week process more efficient or improve our work? How are we planning to do this?
Backlog, Prospects and Sprint Status: The Scrum master, Product Owner and most important stakeholders discuss the status of the stories in the backlog. What is the status of the stories and how do we prioritize them are the main bullet points of this meeting.
Besides above meetings that are Scrum related there are many other meetings needed in order to get the Clay train on track like the:
Sync Development, Prod & DevOps meeting: We admit, it’s not the sexiest name for a meeting, but it does the job. This weekly meeting based on our product roadmap is to make sure the development team, Product Owner and DevOps stay aligned. Read how our DevOps maintains a steady infrastructure at Clay here.
And last but certainly not least:
Town hall: Every other month the whole team comes together for the Town hall meeting. We discuss what the company has been up to. How the different teams are doing and what the plans are for upcoming months. It’s a great way to enable that team feeling. We get to see what everybody has been up to and where the company stands. Besides company news there's one item that makes the Town hall really special: ‘Spotlight on a Brick’ where one of us gets highlighted. We now know what Latha's house looks like and that she has a dartboard in her backyard! We’ve seen Vladimir's challenging route to the Clay HQ and Arthur's mortal combat student expressed her gratitude for his classes in a video.
Of course there are many more meetings. For marketing, support and QA for instance. As long as the intention of the meeting is set in advance and it's clear for all participants involved in what you want to accomplish, meetings can be fun and efficient. We like to see them as meaningful brainstorm sessions rather than sessions to repeat previously established information.
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