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Techniques for Effective Retrospectives

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Every month Prowareness organizes a session called “Mastering Scrum”. In these sessions Scrum Masters share their knowledge about a central theme. On January 19 2012 we focused on Retrospectives.

In these slides we share 15 different ways to gather data and create insights. We hope this will inspire you to have Effective Retrospectives!

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Techniques for Effective Retrospectives

  1. 1. Mastering ScrumEffective Retrospectives
  2. 2. Mastering ScrumEvery month Prowareness organizes a session called“Mastering Scrum”. In these sessions Scrum Mastersshare their knowledge about a central theme.On January 19 2012 we focused on Retrospectives.In this presentation we share 15 different ways togather data and create insights. We hope this willinspire you to have Effective Retrospectives!
  3. 3. Retrospective AgendaEsther Derby and Diana Larsonpropose these steps in their bookabout Agile Retrospectives to havean Effective Retrospective• Set the stage• Gather data• Generate insights• Decide what to do• Close the retrospectivehttp://pragprog.com/book/dlret/agile-retrospectives
  4. 4. Happiness Metric• Create a sheet with a scale of 1 to 5.• Decide on the topic to express thehappiness about (e.g. last sprint,teamwork, etc).• Everyone takes a post-it anddecides about his or her happinessregarding the topic.• Everyone writes on his post-it whatwould improve his or her happinesswith 1 point. http://scrum.jeffsutherland.co m/2010/11/happiness-metric- wave-of-future.html
  5. 5. The SailboatDraw a Sailboat on a flipchart andexplain the attendees the wind ishelpful, The anchor is slowing downand the rocks are risks in future.Everyone writes sticky notes withtypical Risks, Helpful things andstuff that’s Slowing downExplain each item, paste it on the boat andchoose the impediment to be solvedhttp://innovationgames.com/speed-boat/
  6. 6. Future Backwards This technique is designed to increase the number of perspectives that a group can take both on an understanding of their past, and of the range of possible futures. It helps to identify impediments and to focus on doing the right things to arrive at a preferred possible future.http://www.cognitive-edge.com/files/Future-Backwards.pdf
  7. 7. Perfection GameUse it whenever you desire toimprove something you’ve createdThe purpose is to keep the mindsetpositive (perfection, what can beimproved) in stead of negative(what’s wrong/missing)1. Presentor presents the thing to improve2. Perfector rates it (0-10) based on how much value he or she can add3. Perfector explains what he liked4. Perfector offers improvements required to rate it a 10.http://liveingreatness.com/files/core-protocols-3.03.html#perfection-game
  8. 8. Five dysfunctions of a teamExplain the basics about the fiveDysfunctions of a team, based on theBook from Patrick LencioniDraw the team pyramid on a flipchartand ask the team members to putone sticky note on the level they thinkthe team currently is at.On the sticky note let them write animprovement or action to bringteamwork at a higher levelThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  9. 9. Intrinsic MotivatorsCreate decks of cards withintrinsic motivators (see blogpostby Jurgen Appelo).Each participant gets a deck ofcards and places the cards in oneon a line on a table.Propose a change (for instance in how the team works)and ask everybody to show how that will effect theirmotivation by moving cards up (positive) ordown (negative). Let the participants explain.http://www.noop.nl/2009/10/people-motivation-target-intrinsic-desires.html
  10. 10. PersonasFor some teams it’s hard to realizeand imagine who the end userof their system is.Drawing personas and adding contextinformation to each of the personashelps the team understand theirend users.Next step is to define actions to alignbetter with the needs of their end user.http://www.agilemodeling.com/artifacts/personas.htm
  11. 11. Problem > Goal > Advantage Often in a creative team there is no relation between problems goals and actions and outcomes. Visualizing each of them helps the team to focus on the right topic and it helps the team to prevent solving the wrong Problem precisely. This is a technique often used in Solution Focused Coaching.
  12. 12. Mad, Sad and GladAlternative approach of whatwent well and what should beimproved.Let the team write sticky notesabout things that made them mad,sad and glad.After they have explained them the team cangroup the outcomes, prioritize them and define actions
  13. 13. StarfishAnother way of investigating ideas.On a flip chart draw a pie chart withsections Start, Stop, Do more,Do less and Keep.Let the team write sticky notes foreach of these categories.After discussing the items,let the team define actionsto improve.
  14. 14. Circles of Concern and InfluenceSome times people don’t realizewhat things they can control and whatthings they can influence and what’scompletely out of control.When a team is complaining aboutexternal factors it makes sense to pastethem in 3 circles to visualize what theteam can do in order to solve the issuesor to work with them in the best possibleway.http://www.breakoutofthebox.com/circle.htm
  15. 15. Timeline or Emotion Graph Stimulate memories of what happened during the increment of work. Create a picture of the work from many perspectives. Examine assumptions about who did what when. See patterns or when energy levels changed. Use this for “just the facts” or facts and feelings. http://media.pragprog.com/titles/dlret/Activities.pdf
  16. 16. Circle TechniqueDraw two circles on a flip chart.Write on sticky notes what alreadyhas been achieved and place themin the inner circle.Write on sticky notes what yet hasto be achieved and place them inthe outer circle.Choose one next step forward andwrite down what needs to be done.Move sticky note to inner circle as soon as it is Done.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7rYkc9-6y0
  17. 17. Speed dating• Decide on a topic to talk about• Create couples of 2 that faceeach other• Start the timebox (10 minutes)• After the timebox one personmoves to the next tableEspecially useful to involve the entire team toshare thoughts on sensitive topics in a safe way.http://vinylbaustein.net/2011/07/04/agile-speed-dating/
  18. 18. Run your ass offThis activity is great toset the stage and getpeople all warmed up.Choose a hallway wherepeople can safely run around.Have a list with statements about different topics.Read a statement out loud.People agreeing with the statement run to one end ofthe hall. People disagreeing run to the other endof the hall.
  19. 19. DoneThanks to all who attended the session and shared their experiences! Want to know more or follow us: Twitter: @ProwarenessNL Web: http://scrum.nl/

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Every month Prowareness organizes a session called “Mastering Scrum”. In these sessions Scrum Masters share their knowledge about a central theme. On January 19 2012 we focused on Retrospectives. In these slides we share 15 different ways to gather data and create insights. We hope this will inspire you to have Effective Retrospectives!


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