Building a Team Backlog: The Power of Retrospectives

“Inspect and adapt” is one of the basic tenets of continuous improvement, and agility in general. Holding retrospectives is one of the core processes that allows teams to look back and reflect on their progress. However, over time, teams may focus only on the product work and lose interest in their own improvement as a team. Kanchan Khera and Bhuwan Lodha believe that one approach to solving this problem is to bring the rigor, structure, and discipline we use for maintaining healthy product backlogs to team improvement by creating a “team backlog”—items the team needs to do to improve itself. The team backlog introduces three keys to successful and sustainable team improvement—a structured framework, visibility of its impact, and creative ways for building the backlog. Just as a healthy backlog is the basis for a great product, so a healthy team backlog helps create great teams.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

5 mins - opening, intro and stage setting

5 mins - quick exercise to bring everyone on the same page of understanding the basic concepts

5 mins - overview and discussion on common challenges 

10 mins - common data gathering and facilitiation techniques for effective retrospectives

10 mins - unveiling the concept of team backlogs and discussion into the applicability of it in different situations

10 mins - mock retrospective session and demonstration of deriving actionable, impactful and measurable team-backlog items

 

Learning Outcome

- new and interesting ways to conduct retrospective sessions - what worked for us and why?

- learn to handle different team situations by tuning the styles of retrospectives

- a new way to bring rigor in the process of continous improvement - team backlog - how to build one for your team, and how to use it to see lasting impact.

 

Target Audience

All who practice scrum, or any other iterative agile processes

schedule Submitted 7 years ago

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