Why and How to Run a Large Distributed Team Retrospective


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To continue to gain the benefits of Agility at Scale, organizations must move beyond traditional, in-person retrospectives focused on making individual teams great and towards low-cost, online retrospectives focused on making organizations great. Innovation Games® Online provides a low-cost, efficient, massively scalable and extremely high-impact collaboration platform upon which organizations product Large Distributed Team Retrospectives.

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  • To improve performance..
    We must learn together, more quickly, and more collaboratively
    The best mechanism for that is to frequenltly retrospect
  • To improve performance..
    We must learn together, more quickly, and more collaboratively
    The best mechanism for that is to frequenltly retrospect
  • Why and How to Run a Large Distributed Team Retrospective

    1. 1. www.conteneo.co Enterprise Retrospectives © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 1 See also: http://www.innovationgames.com/2014/06/how-to-run-huge-retrospectives/ www.engagethebay.com
    2. 2. www.conteneo.co Enterprise Retrospectives AS A member of a large organization practicing Agile I NEED to find ways to scale retrospectives SO THAT I can continue to help my company improve. ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA:  I will have a better understanding of what is/isn’t working with my current retrospective practices.  I will be able to detect when team-based retrospectives are starting to provide less value to my organization.  I will have learned the outline of a scalable process for planning, facilitating and analyzing results into high-impact initiatives. © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 2
    3. 3. www.conteneo.co About Luke Hohmann • Founder / CEO of Conteneo • Author, speaker, blogger • Philanthropist Strategy Engine Alignment Engine Decision Engine Idea Engine
    4. 4. www.conteneo.co Our Purpose © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 4 We believe that empowered, collaborating teams are the world’s best hope for solving the problems we face. We believe that multidimensional serious games and collaborative play are the best tools for collaborative work.
    5. 5. www.conteneo.co What We Do Progressive organizations use the Conteneo Collaboration Cloud to: • Develop and align strategy • Create, market and sell products & services • Prioritize project portfolios • Prioritize product features • Improve organizational performance © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 5
    6. 6. www.conteneo.co Retrospecting Retrospectives + Δ
    7. 7. www.conteneo.co Retrospective Outcomes / Impact What is the impact or outcome over time? Augment your graph with specific changes you’ve made. time impact low high
    8. 8. www.conteneo.co Retrospective Outcomes / Impact time Impact / Benefit high low Early Adoption Team Maturation Organizational Limits Why Bother?
    9. 9. www.conteneo.co Exploring Your Frame What was the “scope” when you answered this question? (e.g., a single team or ?)
    10. 10. www.conteneo.co Design Challenge Design an effective retrospective for 30 Scrum teams in three locations. Constraints: You do not have enough budget to fly everyone to the same location.
    11. 11. www.conteneo.co Agenda • Motivations for Enterprise Retrospectives • Process Overview • Expected Results • Expect Actions
    12. 12. www.conteneo.co You have many Agile teams. To improve performance of the enterprise you need to conduct an enterprise retrospective – not just one team – but every team. Improving Enterprise Performance
    13. 13. www.conteneo.co Traditional retrospectives focus on a single, co-located team. They can produce results that improve the performance of the team, but often fail to address the needs of the enterprise – the issues affecting multiple teams or beyond the scope of control of any single team. Single Team Retrospectives Image Credit: http://www.cornetdesign.com/images/AgileRetrospectives_134B2/IMG_0016.jpg
    14. 14. www.conteneo.co Collaboration is… © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 14 Pretty easy for small teams… Pretty hard for large distributed teams!
    15. 15. www.conteneo.co Collaboration is Hard for Large Teams Because © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 15 Serious Games that Amplify Collaboration.• Meetings • Email threads • Video conferencing • Surveys Success We mistake communication for collaboration!
    16. 16. www.conteneo.co Games are the Ideal Collaboration Tool! © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 16 Goals Constraints Rules Voluntary Participation
    17. 17. www.conteneo.co Four Years of San José, CA Budget Games 17
    18. 18. www.conteneo.co The Conteneo Collaboration Cloud 18 Strategy Engine Alignment Engine Decision Engine Focus of Today’s Dicussion. Idea Engine
    19. 19. www.conteneo.co We Need Online Retrospectives © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 19 Speed Boat is a well-known retrospective technique in which teams collaboratively identify the anchors slowing them down. Playing Speed Boat online and at scale, we can efficiently conduct an Enterprise Retrospective. The result? An Epic Win!
    20. 20. www.conteneo.co Setting Scope We have found success in setting scope as follows: Time Scope: Last 6 months or last release, whichever is greater Process Scope: The complete development process from story creation, through development and into production deployment (release to customer). © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 20
    21. 21. www.conteneo.co Step 1: Identify the Teams © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 21 We identify the teams and the facilitators.
    22. 22. www.conteneo.co Step 2: Conduct Retrospectives © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 22 We schedule and conduct online retrospectives using Speed Boat. Anchor: Impediment Propeller: Good Stuff Placement indicates how bad or how good. The number of items is shared among all players. Good Really Good Somewhat Bad Bad Really Bad
    23. 23. www.conteneo.co Representative Results
    24. 24. www.conteneo.co Step 3: Analyzing Results © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 24 We download the results of all games to categorize each of the ideas. Categorize Each Idea Create Project Describe Features, Benefits and Price Team & Enterprise Projects
    25. 25. www.conteneo.co Categorize: People, Process, Technology © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 25 People Tools / Technology Process “We should use GitHub” “My PO doesn't attend planning meetings” “We aren’t clear on the meaning of Done, Done”
    26. 26. www.conteneo.co Categorize: Scope of Control © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 26 “We should use GitHub” “My PO doesn't attend planning meetings” “We aren’t clear on the meaning of Done, Done” We use Diana Larsen’s Circles and Soup framework to help analyze results. This helps This is also an excellent online retrospective tool! www.innovationgames.com/circles-and-soup
    27. 27. www.conteneo.co Positivity Bias A pervasive tendency for people [teams], especially those with high self-esteem, to rate positive traits as being more true of themselves than negative traits.
    28. 28. www.conteneo.co Good Ideas or Actual Experience • Review propellers and associated chat logs to identify biases: • Aspirational: We could do this… • Prescriptive: We should do this… • You’re job is to create interpretations of the data based on your experience. © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 28
    29. 29. www.conteneo.co Look for the Patterns! Use a variety of tools to help you! Excel, Qlikview…
    30. 30. www.conteneo.co Feedback about teams was mostly positive. Significant opportunities for highly impactful improvements. Cluster Summary of Coded Anchors “POD” and “product” were ultimately not high-impact scope categories.
    31. 31. www.conteneo.co Keep Doing Good Stuff – Address Oppty
    32. 32. www.conteneo.co Creating Projects © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 32 We create projects to address the impediments. Entire project list. Team projects. Enterprise projects.
    33. 33. www.conteneo.co Selecting Projects • Management reviews our results. • Projects are selected and engaged. • Some projects may be just “approved”. • We may play additional Innovation Games® such as Buy a Feature to help in the selection of the projects. © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 33
    34. 34. www.conteneo.co Sharing Results • Results are shared with the team members. • This may be through • Senior Leaders • Scrum Masters • We want the participants to know they’ve been heard and that we’ll be acting on the results. © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 34
    35. 35. www.conteneo.co Time Estimates © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 35 Planning / Goal Setting 2-3 weeks Game Play 1 week Post-Processing 2-3 weeks Projects? 1- 5 months
    36. 36. www.conteneo.co © Copyright 2014 Conteneo, Inc. 36 Luke Hohmann Founder & CEO, Conteneo, Inc. 480 San Antonio Road, Suite 202 Mountain View, CA 94040 mobile: (408) 529-0319 luke.hohmann@conteneo.co