Tips & tricks
Add any simple tips you have for improving retrospectives. Can be generated by running a Retrospective Surgery.
- Split into small groups to narrow down actions (helps with large teams or with quiet members)
- Use a space without a table
- Have a backlog of retrospective actions with done / not done next to them
- Write the output on a flip chart and stick it up in the workspace where all can see
- Location, location, location - find a good spaces and mix it up so not always in same place
- Write up the retrospective output including actions and put on a blog/wiki or send round in an email
- Forward-specting - what can we start doing now
- Do a 'warm up' exercise to break down any tension and get people in the mood (see below)
- Food (especially nice food like cakes & biscuits) is an excellent way to make the session more appealing and is a great leveller.
- Use a facilitator from outside the team (e.g. another team's scrum master)
- Swap the facilitation role within the team: don't let it fall to the same person (coach, scrum master) each time
- Plan your retrospectives - don't just turn up and run it the same way each time. Develop a toolbox with exercises.
- Throw away everything from the retrospective except the retrospective actions. Focus on outcomes, not problems.
- Create awareness for Retrospective Benefits
Warmup Exercise - Sprint Draw & Guess
A fun 10 minute warmup. I don't know the source of this, so am happy to be corrected.
- X index cards per team member, where X is the total number of people within the dev team
- Sharpies or pens
- A pair of phones to use as countdown timers
- Give each person index cards and a sharpie/pen
- Each person should write 1 to X in the top left corner of the index cards, front to back
- If team size is even, each person has 1 minute to draw (without using words) how they felt the previous sprint went
- If team size is odd, each person has 30 seconds to write down in words how they felt about the previous sprint
- On completion, place the card at the back of the stack and pass it to the right
- The next person, looking only at the last card at the back, attempts to interpret it
- If they see a drawing, attempt to write down what it represents
- If they see text, draw it
- Facilitator should keep time - 1 min for drawing and 30 seconds for writing
- Everyone should be doing the same thing
- Keep going around until you write or draw on the last card
- Once complete, lay them all out in order
- Enjoy comparing the interpretations
- Leave the index cards out during the rest of the retrospective, as a visual aid to whatever activity you have planned
- Alternatively, if the activity planned requires index cards, just flip them over and reuse
Sounds silly, but is rather great in lightening the mood.