... so Agile can fuck off, yeah?
It's bad enough having to put up with all the "agile" bullshit at work, from their utterly pointless daily stand-up meetings to their fucking little cards on the wall everywhere (managers of the world: WE USE ELECTRONIC TRACKING SYSTEMS NOW). Add to that the unbearable Friday "retrospective" meetings (yeah, the last fucking thing I want to do on a Friday is sit in another pointless meeting talking about our problems) and then the Monday three hour meetings where we waste time voting on how long it should take other people to do their job instead of just fucking doing it.
I suppose you're talking about Scrum. As a Scrum Master, maybe I should give some hints.
Let me fill you in on some details:
1.) You're supposed to stand at dailies, so you are eager to finish them fast and so you're quick to move your cards on the board. That's why Scrums are timeboxed (with me it's 15mins max) and limitied to what you can discuss about. If the team doens't get through, no matter. Scrums over. Move your remaining cards and get coding. Be more brief tomorrow. It's that simple.
2.) After trying various electronic tracking systems we moved to cards on a wall. The crew gets away from their PCs and are forced to communicate with each other. And even the secretary and the sales team can use a pinboard without futher explaination, and when they join a Scrum they don't feel like standing in a room full of antisocial douchebags just typing away at their desks. Plus, when you are using it, everyone is watching, which helps you stick to the method. That's why I advocate pinboards for scrum tasking ever since. For huge amount of tasks managed in backlog software, printing the cards might be an option - we did that once - but a Pinboard it should be. People get their coffee or water and meet at the pinboard, not at the watercooler or the kitchen. Does wonders to project awareness and awareness of what others are doing.
3.) Backlog assembly meeting (BAM) - apparently your Monday 3 hour thing (makes me sleepy just thinking of it) - should be done by those who need to do it you don't need the entire team for BAM, especially if 300 tasks need to be judged. You do need the team for assigning complexitiy points, but that can be done if there's something the BAM team has no clue of. BAM task-complexity is temporary anyway, as is the setup of the team. If there's only editing and no programming to be done for the next 4 weeks, it's beyond pointless having a progger do BAM - unless you've got nobody else to do it and the programmer has some spare time. And only in Sprint Planning is complexity set in stone. And Sprint Planning / Sprint Assembly is a different meeting, also timeboxed (1 hour with me, Fridays (I've got weekly sprints)).
Complexity assignment should be done with planning poker, and shouldn't cover microtasking. It should only cover sellable features and one tasklayer below that. Also, BAMs should take place when you need them, not on a fixed date. That's a recipe for timewasting. That aside, planning poker is fun and lets you walk through droves of tasks in no time. You get to judge effort and requirements and *everybody* on the team has an impression of what's coming up in the next few weeks. That is *very* important. ... This should happen in sprint planning the latest. Very often people of a certain field notice things that have been forgotten by management, long before the task is even due. Also very helpful and a big plus of a formalised method such as scrum.
4.) Yes, Scrum has an overhead, just like any other method. Quit whining. The job of Scrum is to keep the overhead to an *absolute* minimum while keeping everything else tightly organised and flexible on a sprint to sprint basis at the same time. If that doesn't happen, you or your Scrum Master is doing it wrong.
5.) Scrum gives your Scrum Master the power to tell you boss "Leave my guy alone, we're full up with tasks, unless you want me to bust this sprint and push everything ahead for the amount of sprintdays left." Keeping the bosses at bay is one big upside of scrum and one of the many tasks of work-organisation. ... Imagine what that would be like if it weren't for the method. ...
Thinking of it, maybe your Scrum Master should take you out of the team and hand you over to your boss and his sales team as their personal coding monkey for a few weeks - maybe that would change your mind. I'd do that. You'll come back loving Scrum and Agile so much, you'll want children from it. :-)
My 2 cents.