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9-Topic-Delimited Digital Asynchronous Communication Instead of Meetingitis

Meaningful communication is not synonymous with constant meetings. Asynchronous communication offers the solution.

Have you been holding conference after conference across time zones: Iteration Planning, Daily Stand Up, Refinement, Review, Retrospective, Big Room, and Steering Committee Meetings? Meetings can tick away entire days. That’s time stolen from development. It’s wasteful. Meetingitis is a contagious disease. It is rampant with Scrum, Holacracy and other agile frameworks. There’s always a huge need to talk and coordinate. Everyone and everything need to be coordinated.

That’s true. The growing complexity in the digital era relies on communication to reconcile dependencies. But the best practice for topic-based, and competency-based communication is asynchronous digital alignment.

Self-organized decisions can be made about prioritization and speed of response. This works best across time zones, and on digital channels. This saves time – i.e. waste is avoided.

Despite the popularity of Big Room meetings among employees as social events, they only make sense if the desired result could not be achieved with asynchronous communication in channels designed for this purpose, or even with meetings on a smaller scale.

Especially in larger companies, there is often a desire among some to escape from actual work into meetings. That leads to highly competent employees frittering away time, instead of using their time in the development of products.

This is certainly overstated, but helpful to give an inkling of the problems associated with Meeingitis.

Competence best communicates directly with affected colleages. A prerequisite for this is the organization of the respective competencies into competency fields, called competency circles according to Augmented Leadership. Competence circles exist at all levels of the company, from business to development. Within the respective competence groups, asynchronous communication is generally preferable to synchronous exchange in meetings. However, the best practice must be developed in a self-organized manner, taking account of all factors in a particular situation.