Retrospectives are great to build a strong, productive team, but there can be a few challenges that impact on the quality of the process. We have a list of what stops an effective team retrospective.
1. DEEP DARK SECRETS
Getting people to be genuinely honest; to tell everyone what they really think is vitally important. Without this, you may as well continue on in a shroud of optimistic candour and hopeful bliss. The problem is that most rather not hurt the feelings of the colleagues directly.. or even the boss. Anonymity is often the key here.
2. TIME DRAINERS
Getting all the ideas down quickly, collated for review, comment and taking action is a manual process especially if you have a large team or one that is distributed. A meeting that takes too long, without purpose or lacks visibility can be a big downer to the process. Keep it quick, nimble and automated.
3. ACTION DEPRIVED
Ensuring you have synthesised the outcomes and people can vote on key focus areas and to take some real action makes sure the whole team moves forward. Don’t leave until you have a few take away action points.
TIPS FOR YOUR AGILE RETROSPECTIVE GROUPMAP
Make your retro anonymous, ask team members to work independently for a fixed period of time and then allow a chance for everyone to read the feedback and make comments. (Either verbally if the culture is right and everyone is present, or via the comments options against each idea). Allocated dot votes mean that each person gets their say in what is being taken into the next iteration. How many votes is really a matter of choice? Teams that do weekly retrospectives may allocate 5 dotes representing the working weeks whilst others limit it to 3 to find the top key items.
Have a record of your agile retrospective so it acts as a way to get participation and buy-in from the team. And you can see how each team member has participated.
Print off a screen capture and stick it on the office wall as a way to remind the team of what they selected.
If you want to save even more time, open up the map earlier to allow people to list down thoughts throughout the iteration or before the meeting itself.
Check out the full recipe here. Use one of the templates or create your own unique question set.
Try it out with your next agile retrospective and let us know what you think.