A very important thing to keep in mind is the follow-up on action items that the team identifies in the retrospective. Having some sort of visual indicator of the action items, along with the people responsible for them, always helps the team stay focused. Generally we tend to forget the action items that are derived from the retrospective. So before starting the retrospective, it’s important to revisit the previous retrospective’s action items and see how many of them are still pending.
Sometimes leaving the option open to the team and asking them what they want to talk about can trigger a good discussion. Try asking your team explicitly whether they would like to have a discussion about specific topics and facilitating that conversation, and see what comes up.
With a secret box, team members can drop a note with things they want to discuss in the retrospective whenever something strikes their minds. This way, they won’t forget anything.
For any organization that has projects that are of huge size, complex in nature, with huge numbers of resources located at various geographical locations, a lot of inter dependencies are present and a lot of coordination is required. As not taking up a big project is not an option, people who are involved in running these types of projects need to constantly review and monitor their progress and delivery. To do this monitoring effectively and to improve continuously for high-quality product delivery that satisfies the customers, different organizations adopt different mechanisms and methods at various stages in the life cycle of the projects. Holding release retrospectives is one such tool that has been effectively used by many organizations, with good results.
The key to Scrum team effectiveness is continuous improvement that can be realized through the inspect-and-adapt opportunity: the retrospectives. Retrospectives help the teams inspect on their strengths and weaknesses and come up with strategies to become stronger every sprint. Retrospectives need a good amount of preparation and effort, especially when team members operate from different geographical locations.
This article talks about joint retrospectives — why they are needed, who participates, when and where they are held, how they are handled, and their benefits and challenges.
Before discussing joint retrospectives, let us quickly recap what retrospectives are and why we need them.
As a well-known and widely followed Agile practice, the retrospective ceremony of Scrum is a platform where the team members get an opportunity to reflect on how they worked together and to discuss how they can become better as a team. Retrospectives are generally held at the end of the each sprint, when the team gathers to look at the way they are working and identifies some commonly agreed-upon modifications and improvements for the next sprint (or project).
This technique uses the core Scrum values – Openness, Courage, Focus, Respect and Commitment – as the core metrics to measure how well teams have adapted themselves to these five values and what are the improvement areas.
Name and Description- Scrum Values
You would like the team to retrospect on how the sprint was with respect to people, process and tools and look for areas of improvements. For example, there could be many factors in the sprint that fall under these three buckets and you would like the team to think what is going good and what the improvement areas in these three buckets are. These buckets are actually vital factors in any organization that is on the path of transformation.
Name and Description- People-Process-Tools-Tech
You would like to read the mood of your team members on how they felt the sprint was. Was it Exciting, Challenging, Stressful, Cool or Puzzling? This technique would enable the team to express their feelings about the sprint, listen to every member’s perception of the sprint and then accordingly inspect and adapt.
Name and Description- Pulse Check