the meat grinder

Having just been on a CAB call with over 60 people running through a list of over 400 items to work through I’m reminded why I try really hard not to work in places where these things happen.

When you work in a truly agile workflow we don’t need these. We don’t need these because a good agile workflow can fully replace a traditional CAB if the agile workflow is cross-disciplined throughout the business.

At the end of several hours, everyone who was speaking sounded dispirited and thoroughly pissed off – including the leader on the call. That sucks. If you’re the leader and the meeting is depressing you – imagine what everyone else feels like.

Seriously – stop having CABs but if you really have to have one these points may help you:

  • Circulate the CAB items early and anything with a LOW to NONE impact rating shouldn’t be discussed – they should be automatically approved unless someone wants to call out one of them during the CAB.
  • Don’t have CABs that last more than an hour at the very most.
  • Group your changes by impacted areas so you can release people quickly.
  • Don’t speak over someone when they’re speaking – especially if you’re leading the CAB.
  • Don’t get pissed off at people on the call – that’s unprofessional and upsets everyone on the call.
  • Build a cadence to your voice and maintain it. Humans take their cues from a leader of a group – be a good positive leader, not one that sounds like they don’t want to be there.
  • Use a good online communication tool that works for everyone – bad quality voice or video adds an extra cognitive load where enough already exists.
  • Stop having CABs. Seriously.