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What's the Agenda?

I get asked this question all the time when I coach organizations on adopting Agile processes. OK, I'm going to schedule the meeting; what should the agenda be?

In short, I propose one agenda for ALL meetings. It's based off of the group's Kanban board and it's fairly simple:

  1. What's been completed since we last met? Let's celebrate that.

  2. What's probably going to be completed before we meet again? Do we as a group need to do anything to support completing it?

  3. What capacity have we freed up so we are able to start something new?

  4. How's your backlog looking? Do you have enough?

  5. Are there any problems / impediments / blockers that we haven't discussed yet that we need to address?

This agenda enforces the fact that the organization is building a giant, connected pull system that only begins new work when there is capacity to take it on. Now, of course, depending on the level in the organization where the meeting is taking place or its focus the amount of time spent on any one area of the above agenda will be different. If a Team is following Scrum, then this conversation takes place in the context of the current Sprint or Iteration. If it's a Program level intake meeting, then the first few items should be quick but provide a bit of context for bringing in new work. At the Portfolio level these items are helpful for reviewing allocation and budgeting guardrails.

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