Leading a Monday morning meeting for an IT team, even as a full-stack developer using PHP and Symfony, requires effective communication, organization, and leadership skills.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to conduct such a meeting:

  1. Prepare an Agenda: Start by creating a clear agenda for the meeting. Outline the topics you want to cover, including:

    • A review of last week’s accomplishments.
    • Key priorities for the current week.
    • Upcoming deadlines or important milestones.
    • Any scheduling or personal matters relevant to the team.
    • Open floor for team members to share updates or concerns.
  2. Send Out the Agenda in Advance: Distribute the meeting agenda to all team members before the meeting. This allows them to come prepared and have their thoughts organized.

  3. Start on Time: Punctuality is essential. Begin the meeting on time, and set the expectation that everyone should be present and ready when the meeting starts.

  4. Review Last Week’s Accomplishments: Begin the meeting by discussing what the team achieved in the previous week. Highlight key milestones, completed tasks, and any challenges that were overcome. This sets the context for the upcoming week.

  5. Discuss Priorities for the Week: Go through the list of tasks and projects for the upcoming week. Prioritize them based on their importance and deadlines. Ensure that everyone understands what needs to be done and by when.

  6. Address Scheduling and Personal Matters: If there are personal scheduling topics relevant to the team, such as vacations, doctor’s appointments, or training, address them in a concise manner. Make sure these personal matters do not conflict with project timelines and resources.

  7. Open the Floor for Updates: Allow team members to share updates, concerns, or questions they may have. This can include roadblocks they’re facing, clarifications needed, or suggestions for process improvements. Encourage open and honest communication.

  8. Resolve Issues and Set Action Items: If there are issues or conflicts raised during the meeting, work towards resolving them with input from the team. Assign action items or responsibilities as needed to ensure that problems are addressed effectively.

  9. Confirm Next Steps: Summarize the key takeaways from the meeting, including the priorities for the week, any action items, and deadlines. Make sure everyone is clear on their individual and collective responsibilities.

  10. End on a Positive Note: Conclude the meeting by acknowledging the team’s hard work and expressing confidence in their ability to meet the week’s objectives. Offer support and resources as necessary.

  11. Follow Up: After the meeting, send out meeting minutes or a summary of what was discussed, along with action items and deadlines. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and accountable for their tasks.

  12. Continuous Improvement: Encourage feedback on the meeting format and content to make it more effective in the future. Adapt the meeting structure based on the team’s needs and preferences.

As the head of IT, it is essential to lead by example, foster a positive and collaborative atmosphere, and ensure that everyone leaves the meeting with a clear understanding of their priorities and responsibilities for the week ahead.

Considering that my team does not meet on a daily basis - for daily standup meetings -, and we are using Jira for task management, we may handle task distribution as follows:

  1. Prioritization Before the Sprint:

    • Ensure that the product backlog is well-groomed and prioritized. The product owner should have a clear list of high-priority user stories and tasks.
  2. Sprint Planning Meeting:

    • At the start of each sprint, hold a sprint planning meeting. In this meeting:
      • The product owner presents the top-priority items from the backlog.
      • The team discusses and estimates these items.
      • The team selects a set of items they believe they can complete in the two-week sprint and adds them to the sprint backlog.
  3. Capacity Planning:

    • During the sprint planning meeting, the team should consider their capacity for the entire sprint, which includes the work they expect to complete and time allocated for meetings, code reviews, testing, and potential unexpected tasks.
  4. Buffer for Unplanned Work:

    • Allocate a portion of the sprint capacity to accommodate unplanned work or tasks that arise during the sprint. This buffer can be used for urgent bug fixes, technical debt, or any new tasks that emerge during the sprint.
  5. Bi-Weekly Standup Meetings:

    • In the bi-weekly Monday standup meetings, the team can discuss and add new tasks or issues as they arise.
    • New tasks can be evaluated for urgency and impact during these meetings. If they are high-priority and must be addressed during the current sprint, they can be added to the sprint backlog. Otherwise, they can be added to the product backlog for consideration in future sprints.
  6. Task Distribution:

    • As new tasks are added during the standup meetings, the team should collectively decide which team member is best suited to work on each task. Assign tasks based on the team members’ skills, availability, and workload. Be mindful not to overburden any single team member.
  7. Tracking and Visibility:

    • Use Jira to update the sprint backlog with new tasks, so the entire team has visibility into what’s being worked on during the sprint.
  8. Bi-Weekly Standup Updates:

    • Since your team doesn’t meet daily, use the bi-weekly Monday standup meetings as an opportunity for team members to provide comprehensive updates on their work. Discuss progress, obstacles, and new tasks added since the previous meeting.
  9. Retrospectives:

    • At the end of each sprint, hold a sprint retrospective to review what went well and what could be improved in terms of task distribution and sprint planning.
  10. Flexibility:

  • Be flexible and adaptable in responding to new tasks. Consider their urgency and potential impact on the sprint goals.
  1. Regular Communication:
  • Maintain open and transparent communication within the team, especially in your bi-weekly standup meetings, to ensure that everyone is aware of any new tasks and how they affect the sprint’s objectives.

By following this adjusted approach, you can effectively handle task distribution in a two-week sprint with bi-weekly Monday standup meetings while accommodating your team’s work rhythm and maintaining the ability to respond to changes and new tasks as they arise.

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