There are many factors which contribute to the tension over meetings. Consider these as some of the important reasons why meetings may be costing you more than they are worth:
- Focus - software versus meetings
- Management - managers need measurement
- Personality - Introverts vs. Extroverts
- Time - interrupts, Maker and Manager time
- Goals, Priorities
Each of those factors is explained below,
Focus - I enjoy developing software, and that includes thinking about the challenges (problems), creating solutions, building the software, and meetings distract from focus on the tasks that build the software. There is a state called "Flow" where a developer is immersed in the challenge (problem), has built a mental model of the solution, and has complete focus on building the solution. A developer may work until midnight, leave only to eat and sleep, then return to a state close to where they left.
Developers need to avoid distractions, and many find that there are advantages to code late into the night (they avoid the noise, phone calls, busy office, and non-developer colleagues interrupting their work). And when you have worked until 10, 11, or 12pm, it is not unreasonable to come to work later (10, 11, noon?). Is it reasonable to expect developers to work from 9am until midnight?
Scrum (and any) meetings distract the developer from their primary purpose, which is building software.
Management - Managers need to measure in order to be successful, hence the need for schedules, deliverables, timelines, priorities, and meetings to measure and report progress, and to expose dependencies, delays, and risk areas. The challenge with a Scrum is that a manager needs these things, but the developer needs focus. Meetings serve the manager, and provide a way for the manager to obtain, measure, and track status and progresss, but meetings seldom provide utility to developers. Consider that managers provide more value when they handle distractions, remove barriers, and enable developers to focus on building software.
There are solutions to the need for meetings. A manager could visit their developers, ask for status reports, adopt a protocol for when interruptions are less intrusive, or adopt a policy that the developer to notify them of progress when the developer is interruptible. See the discussion of time for why this is important.
Personality - Consider that some people are introverts and others are extroverts. Extroverts enjoy social interactions, and are recharged by them. Managers are typically extroverts (because extroverts are usually better with social interactions), though introverts can be successful as managers. Introverts can enjoy and even excel at social interactions, but are recharged by solitude. Developers are often introverts, and are successful working alone (or in small teams) because they do not "need" social interactions; they can be happy working alone on problems (although extroverts can be developers too). Daily scrum meetings can become social gatherings, good for extroverts, but not so good for introverts.
Time - Developers cannot write code while they are in meetings. Neither can they think about hard problems (unless they are brainstorming), while distracted by meetings. Developers need large blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on building software. Meetings are interruptions which distract from their efforts. When you have been immersed in solving a problem for hours, are nearly done, and someone says "time for the scrum", you are interrupted, and lose perhaps hours of work while "shifting gears". Or you have stayed at work until 11:00pm, left work, travelled home, slept on the problem, woke up, travelled back to work ready to solve the problem, and then get interrupted after an hour of working on a problem, because it is "time for the scrum".
Paul Graham has an excellent article on Maker Time vs. Manager Time, which explains this problem far better than I do. Suffice to say that a meeting interruption, whether planned or unplanned can break flow, and force a developer from Maker time onto Manager time. Believe me, you want developers on Maker time.
Goals, Priorities - Developers and managers have different goals and priorities. Managers have the onus to track schedules, minimize cost, ensure that their reports are responsible, and that they perform. Developers have the goal to build the software that addresses the challenges/problems. These goals are not in conflict, but it is the communications mechanism that creates the tension. Meetings serve the manager's needs and optimize the managers time, but they conflict with the developer's needs. Scrum meetings discard the first rule of meetings, "have an agenda", and tend to wander more. And meetings are used to optimize communication (for the manager), but they cost the developer time (interruptions, loss of flow, etc).
What is the goal? To build software that addresses the needs, quickly and with quality, while constraints are (quality, time, cost, process). Scrum and other agile methodologies recognize the process constraint, and try to minimize that factor, and have been successful because they minimize that constraint. But adding meetings does cost time, and the interruption costs the developer much more than the duration of the meeting.