Retrospective Søren Weissin a Kanban team Agile Coach An example Twitter: @sorenweiss 2012, September 12th
Background• 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 (9 team members) in September 2012.• The team had implemented Kanban in June 2012.• The team members were working in a maintenance/project organisation and were all highly skilled specialists.• Duration of the session was 1 hour.
Retrospective agenda• Set the scene• Commitment exercise• "Actions for Retrospective" game• Chose the retrospective
Set the scene• I shared with the team my experiences on what makes a good retrospective meeting by presenting 5 essentiel elements 1. Time 2. Focus 3. Reﬂection 4. Responsibility 5. Variation
5 elements for the good retrospective1. Time, invest sufﬁcient time for the meeting. I often see that too little time is invested in a retrospective meeting. This typically leads to teams that jump to conclusion and actions of poor quality.2. Focus, set optimal conditions for the meeting. I often see team doing retrospective meetings in their teamroom with phones ringing, collegues dropping by and other interruptions.3. Reﬂection, be aware that the retrospective is a space for reﬂection. I often see that teammembers misunderstand to be only a social event rather than a "working meeting" with focus on reﬂection. It takes brain power to reﬂect efﬁciently - and that should not be forgot.4. Responsibility, the participants of the retrospective are the ones generating the insights and drawing, drawing the conclusions and setting new goals. This takes a team with teammembers feeling responsible for they own participation and also for the participation of the whole team. I sometimes meet teammembers who think that "the other teammembers" will do the job.5. Varation, it is crucial for the success of the retrospective that the format of the meeting varies over time. I sometimes meet teams, who have become less motivated to do retrospectives, because there are no surprises in the way the meeting is conducted and facilitated.
Commitment exerciseThe team members form a circle. One person reaches out with one arm and tells theother teammembers what he/she will contribute with during the retrospective. Everybodymakes eye contact and nods to appreciate this. Then another person reaches out placinga hand on the ﬁrst hand and shares what he/she will contribute with. This continues untilleverybody has committed to contribute with something for the meeting. Often the teamends the exercise by yelling out "go" or some other "battle cry". This typically results in astrong feeling of commitment for the individuals as well as for the whole team. I considerthis exercise a "quality assurance" element for the meeting.
"Actions for Retrospective" gameThe retrospective was set for only 60 minutes. As a facilitator I needed tocombine the stages of the retrospective in order to comply with time. Ichoose to use the "Actions for Retrospective" game. One advantage of thatexercise is that "Gather data", "Generate insights" and "Draw conclusions"are done within the same exercise.1. The team formed into two groups reﬂecting on 1. Puzzles, questions for which they have no answer. 2. Risks, future pitfalls that can endanger the project. 3. Appreciations, what they liked during the previous iteration. 4. Wishes, ideas of the ideal project (not improvements!) 2. Because of the time limit I stressed that each group could only bring one item per category. The two groups presented their input by placing post it notes on the matrix. During this part of the session I strongly emphasised that the other teammembers took notes which would serve as input for the later "Draw conclusions" phase.3. After presenting all items the team decided on the most important action. "Actions for Retrospective" game based on Nick Ostvoegels I assisted the team in securing that the action was S.M.A.R.T. "Actions centered" Furthermore a "guardian angel" was appointed for the action.4. The team managed to decide on two actions for the next iteration.