Retrospective Søren Weissin a Kanban team Agile Coach Twitter: @sorenweiss An example
About this presentation• The presentation serves to share an agenda which can be used to facilitate a retrospective in a scrum team or in a kanban team.• I facilitated the retrospective with a Danish kanban team (8 team members) in April 2012.• The team had implemented Kanban i December 2012. This was the second retrospective session after starting doing Kanban.• The team members were working in a maintenance organization and were all highly skilled specialists.• Duration of the session was 2 1/2 hours.
Retrospectiveagenda• Set the scene• Hallway status• Proﬁle drawing• Starﬁsh• SMART goal• ROI by Fist of Five
Set the scene• This was the teams second retrospective. We revisited the teams signup request and their motivation for adopting an agile method and why we ended up using Kanban instead of scrum.• I reminded the team on the simple rules that they follow by doing Kanban.
Hallway status• I wanted a quick indication of how the mood was among the team members (I hadnt visited them for two months). I asked the question "if I instead of meeting you at this retrospective session had met you in the hallway and I had asked you how you were doing in the team, what would you then have answered me?". I asked each teammember to prepare a number (1-10) representing their level of satisfaction. One by one the teammembers presented their numbers followed by a very brief explanation. This exercise gave a good indication of what the teammembers were focusing on. And all opinions was heard.
Proﬁle drawing• The team members formed two groups. Each group drew a rich picture. Each group/picture answered the questions: 1. What are we particularly good at doing in our team? 2. What are we particularly not good at doing in our team? 3. What are the main unsolved impediments at this point? 4. What are the biggest successes since the last retrospective?• Only rule was "no using letters.I mentioned to the team that the exercise could seem transcendent to some. Iacknowledged this and then encouraged the team members to overcomepotential blocking from participating (know you audience, culture etc.). I brieﬂymentioned how being creative will help people producing good ideas/suggestions, which were the reason for doing the retrospective.
Starﬁsh• Based on the information identiﬁed in the ﬁrst two exercises the team members now brainstormed to identify items to ﬁt into the categories: 1. What should we start doing? 2. What should we stop doing? 3. What should we do more of? 4. What should we do less of? 5. What should we continue to doThe team did this exercise as one group. The rules: 1) nobody can veto suggestions, 2)the teammember who puts up a suggestion brieﬂy explains the sugggestion whenputting the item up on the wall. By doing the starﬁsh exercise in this way you dont needto spend time to identify doubles and the quality of the suggestions also increases.Furthermore it feels like a team effort compared to if you create suggestions individuallyor in smaller groups.
SMART goal• The team had now identiﬁed several suggestions on what to do differently until the next retrospective. It was now time to choose the most important things to do and to create speciﬁc goals. The team choose among the items from the starﬁsh exercise. I deliberately did not ask the team to rank the suggestions before asking what would be the most important thing to do differently. This approach fostered some great disscussions. I should mention that this approach calls for the facilitator to assist the more introvert team members to speak up.• I timeboxed the creation of each goal to max 20 minutes. I supported the team to make sure that each goal qualiﬁed to be a SMART goal. After creating a goal the team accepted the goal and the team chose a "guardian angel" for the goal. This persons job is to be the backstop for getting the goal implemented. I have over the years realized that such a role is crucial for the success rate of implementing retrospective goals.• As a facilitator I asked the team to make sure to make the goals simple and not too ambitious. The team chose to go with three goals. This was according to the team a realistic amount of goals.
Close theretrospective• By the time the team had agreed on their this goals time was running out and I asked the teammembers to do a Fist of Five on the question: "was this retrospective worth investing 2 1/2 hours to do?". The team members commented their FoF and I took notes for process improval proposals.
Reﬂections• Even though the team was new to the concept of doing retrospectives they were very participating and they produced numerous suggestions and ideas.• I heard these words during the session: • "That would be a cool thing to start doing". • "Ok, lets do that then". • "Great that you are in on it". • I even heard a "yes, we can!" :-)