Chapter 10. Meetings for an Effective Engineering Organization

Some engineers develop a strong point of view that meetings are a waste of their time. There’s good reason for that perspective, as many meetings are quite bad, but it’s also a bit myopic: meetings can also be an exceptionally valuable part of a well-run organization. If you’re getting feedback that any given meeting isn’t helpful, then iterate on it and consider pausing it for the time being. It may not be useful for your organization yet, but don’t give up on the idea of meetings.

Table 10-1 shows a representative monthly calendar for an Engineering organization, with four organizational meetings each week. Many organizations use a schedule along these lines for teams of 20 to 200 engineers. Smaller organizations often collapse all these meetings into their weekly team meeting, and larger organizations typically shard these meetings across focus areas (e.g., product engineers within each business line, data engineering, infrastructure engineering).

Table 10-1. Representative monthly calendar for Engineering organizations
Mo Tu We Th Fr
Team Meeting Eng Q&A Monthly Tech Spec Review Incident Review
Team Meeting Eng Mgrs Monthly Tech Spec Review Incident Review
Team Meeting Staff Eng Monthly Tech Spec Review Incident Review
Team Meeting Tech Spec Review Incident Review

In this chapter, we’ll dig into:

  • Why you need meetings, even if you’ve learned to distrust them

  • How to run an effective weekly ...

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