Any event that distracts us from work can be seen as a negative. That goes for both paperwork and in-person activities. However, there are benefits of status meetings and reporting that make this time well spent. These benefits may require some consideration to list them. Thus, these are good for us to cover in a season focused on positives.
A Chance To Take A Breath
One of the often-ignored benefits of status meetings or similar tasks is that it forces us to pick our heads up. That act alone can be a game-changer. Think about the sad example of a runner that is focused on racing forward but fails to see the rapidly approaching obstacle. When we put blinders on, we can be productive. On the other hand, we can miss critical points required for our success. Sometimes an interruption provides us a way to “take a deep breath” and ensure we are on the correct course.
Plan, Plan, Plan
We have often listed the benefits of planning. Status reporting is a planning activity. Even better, it combines reviewing past successes (or failures) with future plans. These two activities combine to help us improve our estimates and time management. As they say, “what is not measured is not managed.” That means we will not grow if we do not spend time evaluating our plans. This benefit takes some time to come to fruition. However, it is an essential improvement and step in becoming a better developer.
It is one thing to plan on doing something and another to tell others. When we tell others of our plans, it adds a level of accountability. This outcome is one of the best benefits of status meetings and similar activities. We are not all self-starters, but even those personality types can benefit from a push. That is what accounting for our plans provides. We have others to report to that we do not want to disappoint. Good news is fun to share. Failures and bad news are not things we want to communicate. That gives us a mild carrot-and-stick approach to getting things done.
Episode Challenge: Review your status template and update it if it can use some tweaks to improve it.