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Hamlet D'Arcy has been writing software for over a decade, and has spent considerable time coding in C++, Java, and Groovy. He's passionate about learning new languages and different ways to think about problems, and recently he's been discovering the joys of both F# and Scheme. He's an active member of the Groovy Users of Minnesota and the Object Technology User Group, is a committer on the Groovy project, and is a contributor on a few open source projects (including JConch and the IDEA Groovy Plugin). He blogs regularly at and can be found on Twitter as HamletDRC ( Hamlet is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 28 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

60 Second Agility: ROTI Meetings

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Always in search of the absolute minimum of ceremony, my last team "discovered" a useful agile practice that takes 60 seconds from start to end: the ROTI Meeting.After every meeting, on the way out the door, draw a diagonal line on the whiteboard with the labels 0, 2, and 4.

Each person in turn gives a number on how the meeting performed as a "Return on Time Invested" and the person with the marker draws in the rating. Here is the rating scale we used:

0 = "I'd have been better off making a Starbuck's run. Complete waste of time"
1 = "You really should have let me stay at my desk and code"
2 = "This was an OK meeting. About as valuable as if I'd been coding"
3 = "Surprisingly, this was more valuable than if I'd been writing code"
4 = "Wow, this meeting saved me tons of time. Thank goodness I didn't skip it to code"

And then each person answers the same question, "What could be done to improve your number by one point?"

To do this in 60 seconds means there is no discussion. The feedback is what it is; no debating, no fixing problems, and no hurt feelings.

ROTI meetings create tacit, organization knowledge that can be acted upon by team members in the future. It drives a team towards less meetings (almost always a good thing), pushes team members to be more respectful of each others time and expertise, and influences meeting organizers to craft more succinct, on topic, and meaningful gatherings. It takes only 60 seconds so you might as well try it a few time!

... and now the historical details.

ROTI analysis is nicely described in Esther Derby's great book "Agile Retrospectives". The practice in the context of iteration retrospectives takes more lie 5 to 10 minutes. Our team found ROTI to be so effective in retrospectives that we shortened it and held one at the end of every meeting.

The actual ROTI scale is a bit more formal than what we created:

0 - Lost Principle: No Benefit Received for Time Invested Break-Even:
1 -
2- Received Benefit Equal to Time Invested High Return on Investment
3 -
4 - Received Benefit Greater than Time Invested

Lastly, ROTI charts are covered in detail a few other places as well. For a mere 60 second investment, this practice is worth trying on your team.


Published at DZone with permission of Hamlet D'Arcy, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)