Stan meetings

Hi all. As I think everyone knows, we have weekly Stan meetings (via Google hangout) every Thursday 11am NY time.

There’s been some discussion about how to make these meetings more effective. We start each meeting with a check-in where each participant talks for a couple minutes about what he or she has done recently. Once this is all done (about 30 minutes) we talk about different issues that come up.

One concern is that in this non-physical meeting, it’s hard for multiple conversations to happen at once (but we do get some of this via the Hangout chat channel), and it’s difficult for more than 1 or 2 people to participate in any given discussion.

On the plus side, the weekly meeting gives us a chance to catch up on some of what’s been going on in the Stan universe recently, and it gives us a chance to set up future discussions.

We discussed this today at the Stan meeting and Daniel Lee had two suggestions, both of which seem like good ideas:

  1. Someone taking notes at each meeting and posting as a discourse thread. (Breck said that starting next week he can do this.)

  2. Trying as much as possible to post agenda items on the Stan Development Meeting Agenda at least 3 days before the meeting, so that people can join in if there’s a particular item of interest. (It’s also ok for people to join in the meeting just to lurk and hear about what’s been happening.)

Bob emphasized that this sort of general meeting isn’t usually the best way to hold technical meetings. So, for technical issues, the purpose of the general Stan meeting can just be to announce progress or live issues, and then interested people can follow up.

Daniel emphasized that one advantage of taking notes on Stan meetings and posting these notes is that this will better get involved people who can’t make it to the meetings, for one reason or another.

Does anyone have any other thoughts on how best to do this? We could abandon the meetings entirely, but I think they serve a useful function, even to have brief meetings which give us a sense on progress.

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Thanks for writing this up.

I think the meetings are a good way to get lots of input from people with different perspectives. What I meant about them not being good for engineering is that they’re not a good venue for decision making because not enough of the stakeholders show up.

What I like best is the more researchy parts of the meeting.

I’ve liked that the going-around-the-table is faster now without interruptions. We should stick to that.