Monday, June 4, 2012

Keeping Retrospectives Fun

At the May DC Scrum user group, we had a workshop on retrospectives. We covered six different techniques to keep retrospectives fun.
For all the techniques we followed this structure:
  1. Set the stage: This entails ensuring that everyone feels safe to express their opinions. A good way is to start out with the prime directive:
    "Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand"
  2. Gather data: This is where we create a shared pool of data to ground the retrospective in facts instead of opinions.
  3. Generate insights: This is where we observe patterns, determine root cause, and build a shared awareness of the situation.
  4. Decide what to do: This is where we move from discussion to action and come up with a plan to resolve the top 2 or 3 items.
  5. Close: This is where we review the findings, reiterate the action items, and appreciate everyone’s participation. 

The six techniques covered where:
  1. Draw me a picture
  2. Silent retrospective
  3. The timeline
  4. Team radar
  5. 5 Whys 
  6. and a special bonus technique called Retrospective Cookies courtesy of Adam Weisbart.