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How to Jazz up your Retros - Agile BA Meetup - Melbourne - 08/04/14


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Retrospectives are fairly common among Agile teams, but are you and your team bored with Retrospectives? Do you always use the same, old format, or are they just proving to be ineffective.

The aim of this presentation is to empower you to be the cause of change that will bring the Retrospective back to life. You will learn the importance of Retrospectives, how to ensure they are successful, and be introduced to a number of new techniques that you can take away. By jazzing up your Retros, you'll be able to renew interest in this important ceremony, gain new insights from your team, and ultimately maintain a focus on continuous improvement within your team.

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How to Jazz up your Retros - Agile BA Meetup - Melbourne - 08/04/14

  1. 1. 1 How to jazz up your Retros Ryan McKergow Twitter: @RMcKergow LinkedIn: RyanMcKergow Special thanks to: Image  source:  h"p://  
  2. 2. 2 Overview •  A quick intro to Retros •  How to run a: 1.  Bad Retro – How can they go wrong 2.  Good Retro - Areas to address in your Retros 3.  Great Retro – New & disruptive Retro techniques
  3. 3. 3 A question for you… Why do we even hold Retrospectives?
  4. 4. 4 “Agile Retrospectives are special meetings where a team steps back, examines the way they work, and identifies ways they can improve.” Ester Derby
  5. 5. 5 How to run a bad Retro Image  source:  h"p://­‐content/uploads/2007/10/student.gif  
  6. 6. 6 Unproductive! Image  source:  h"p://­‐content/uploads/2013/09/unproducHve-­‐tasks.jpg  
  7. 7. 7 Same format, same issues! Image  source:  h"p://­‐pi  
  8. 8. 8 Blaming session!   Image  source:  h"p://­‐Y1Yl_ObxbEQ/Uiwb-­‐iUh5yI/AAAAAAAAJhs/vGvaVAqqfog/s1600/Anthony+Weiner+Argument+Index+Finger+Up+Index+Finger+PoinHng+at+Chest+Palm+Up+Palm+Down+Nonverbal +CommunicaHon+Expert+Body+Language+Expert+Speaker+Keynote+Las+Vegas+Los+Angeles+Orlando+New+York+City.png    
  9. 9. 9 Don’t follow up actions! Image  source:  h"p://­‐e1335816240446.jpg      
  10. 10. 10 Issues with traditional Retrospective
  11. 11. 11 How to run a good Retro Image  source:  h"p://countersoe.wpengine.netdna-­‐­‐content/uploads/2013/12/REtrospecHve-­‐meeHng-­‐lego-­‐640x360.png    
  12. 12. 12 Be prepared Image  source:  h"p://­‐800wi  
  13. 13. 13 Facilitated well Image  source:  h"p://  
  14. 14. 14 Enforce appropriate behaviour Image  source:  h"p://­‐content/uploads/2013/08/Smile-­‐Face-­‐in-­‐sad-­‐faces.jpg  
  15. 15. 15 Clear actions Image  source:  h"p://"pilgrim/images/0/02/Sco"_pilgrim_vs_the_world_lucas_lee_acHon_doctor_fake_movie_poster-­‐1-­‐.jpg  
  16. 16. 16 How to run a great Retro Image  source:  h"p://    
  17. 17. 17 Appreciative Retrospective
  18. 18. 18 Instructions: •  Start by providing another team member with positive feedback –  As a team, reflect on the past Iteration. What were the: •  Strengths •  Successes •  Major events –  Discuss the reflections together –  Repeat the process thinking about the next two Iterations –  Discuss the reflections together –  Work out an action plan to achieve the team’s future state •  Find out more about the Appreciative Retrospective here: Appreciative Retrospective
  19. 19. 19 Emotional Timeline   Image  source:  h"p://  
  20. 20. 20 Instructions: •  Draw a time line on a whiteboard •  Ask the team to write down: –  Good events –  Problematic events –  Significant events •  Explain the events for context •  Everyone plots how happy or sad they were throughout the timeline •  Plot out the consensus line for the team •  Discuss the findings and identify actions for improvement in the future •  Find out more about the Emotional Timeline Retrospective here: %20Retropectives%202011.pdf Emotional Timeline
  21. 21. 21 The 4 L’s Retro
  22. 22. 22 Instructions: •  Reflect on 4 different categories: –  Liked –  Learned –  Lacked –  Longed for •  Write notes against each category •  Split into 4 even teams •  Each team goes through findings and presents to everyone •  Discuss important topics with team •  Agree on action items •  Find out more about the 4 L's Retrospective here: The 4 L’s Retro
  23. 23. 23 Lean Coffee Image  source:  h"p://­‐content/uploads/lean-­‐coffee-­‐featured-­‐628x250.jpg    
  24. 24. 24 Instructions: •  Ask everyone to raise 1-2 topics for discussion •  Vote on the discussion items •  Start discussion about the topic for 5 minutes •  After 5 minutes, vote on whether to continue discussions •  Throughout the discussions, identify actions to take away •  Find out more about the Lean Coffee Retrospective here: Lean Coffee
  25. 25. 25 Jeopardy
  26. 26. 26 Instructions: •  Draw a Jeopardy game board •  Everyone writes a one word or short phrase answer •  Think of the question to the answer. Don’t tell anyone. •  The team guesses the question to the answer •  Discuss where the questions are different to owner’s question •  Agree on actions from the discussions •  Find out more about the Jeopardy Retrospective here: Jeopardy
  27. 27. 27 Speed boat
  28. 28. 28 Instructions: •  Team draws: –  a Boat (Your team) –  some Wind pushing the boat forward (Activities/behaviours/processes that could give the team moment) –  an Anchor holding the boat back (What is currently hold us back from achieving our goals) –  an Iceberg in the distance (What is something that could really damage the team in the future) •  Team writes notes against the three elements impacting the boat •  Read out notes to team •  Group into themes (optional) •  Discuss the findings •  Identify actions from the notes •  Find out more about the Speedboat Retrospective here: Speedboat
  29. 29. 29 Recap How to run a: 1.  Bad Retro – How can they go wrong 2.  Good Retro - Areas to address in your Retros 3.  Great Retro – New & disruptive Retro techniques
  30. 30. 30 •  Twitter: @RMcKergow •  LinkedIn: RyanMcKergow Thank you!