Retrospective is an opportunity to take a deep breath after the Sprint and focus on learning and improving. It’s also the most visual form of inspect & adapt cycle in Scrum framework, and time when the Team can analyze what worked well, what did not, and recharge their batteries before next Sprint comes.
From all the Retro-related books I’ve read, “Agile Retrospectives” seems to be the most useful for those of you who seek for practical tips and ready-to-go scenarios. Just like their template Retro plan:
- Set the stage – give people time to arrive, adjust mindset to the goal of the event and break the ice if necessary.
- Gather data – as much as you can, visualize data if front of the participants.
- Generate insight – transform rough data into meaningful information, find patterns, identify how these patterns affect big picture.
- Decide what to do – select most important topics and create SMART actions to address them.
- Close the Retrospective – summarize and go for a short ‘Retro of the Retro’ (because why not to improve the way you do it…).
SEach of the stages can be supported with different exercises that would engage the whole Team. Once you run out of your own ideas, just use Retromat – a great tool containing many exercises and generating ready to use Retro plans (https://retromat.org/en/). You can also read about Satisfaction foot.
Remember to use it wisely! Sometimes it is just better to take the Team outside, sit down on a grass, grab cold drinks and talk without any agenda.
Retro doesn’t need to be yet another boring (or standard) meeting held in a conference room.
Believe me or not, but one of the most efficient Retros I’ve ever had was based on the riverbank – sun was shining, water flowing, the team sitting with cold bee…uhm… soft drinks in hands and just talking. Precious time to put aside all day-to-day troubles and reflect on your Team’s life.