Learn from Mistakes, Retain Your Strong Holds: Sprint Retro: Do As WE Do at John Deere

As the 12th Agile Principle states : "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.", it is quite easy to understand the importance of continuous evolvement which involves retaining learning and corrective actions.

John Deere has started its Agile journey in year 2010 and since then has gone through various phases of transformation. Scrum teams has learnt alot and are continuously learning. Retrospection is one of very important scrum ceremony which paves path for team to advance in right direction.

Here, I will demonstrate some retro techinques and its applications according to sprint work.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

Setting Agenda : -10 Mins
Different Retro Techinques and its applications :- 25 Mins
Conclusion & QA :- 10 Mins

Learning Outcome

Retro should always be non-biased and foster open communication. Here, you will get an opportunity to learn how to get appropriate action items after every sprint. Different Retro techinques will ensure team interest and attention. Since, it is an continuous evolving process, you can add your own flavors to it.

You will be learning a lot from this. I call it "Retro toolkit".

It includes things like: mapping of retro style to how the sprint went; a thought-through agenda for retro meeting (prime directive, timeline, appreciation circle, etc); ready templates for sending out retro notes per retro style; facilitation techniques, some Metrics Analysis that can be a part of retro.

 

Target Audience

Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Coach, Managers

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Abhijeet Shewale
    By Abhijeet Shewale  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Looking forward to listen on the 'Retro toolkit', though we are doing the Retros after every sprint, I find it amazing the way team adapts and inspect and works on the action items coming out.

    I am a proponent of making this activity of Retrospective more lively and shouldn't be mundane. The idea of toolkitting it makes more exciting.

    Great job of thinking on this and presenting to a larger like minded forum.

     

     

     

  • Praveenkumar V
    By Praveenkumar V  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Retro is an Agile technique for continuous improvement. Retro can be done in a 100 ways but what really matters is the continuous improvement and how the retro technique helps to achive and measure that. I think, the proven secret recipe of John Deere which fueled the success of scrum teams are now going to be public! Great opportunity for Non-Deeres.

  • Gabbar Narwaria
    By Gabbar Narwaria  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Like we say human is the manifestation of their mind, similar to that sprint success is the manifestation of team’s retrospection.

    In software organization to deliver continuous improvement, it become very crucial how quickly we inspect, adapt and deliver. A good retrospective in not all about what went well and not went well.

    I agree with Shrawan, In John Deere we focus more on making retrospective effective and interesting. 

    Thanks Shrawan for stepping up and bringing things on broader platform. 

    Thanks

    Gabbar Narwaria

  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Shrawan,

      Thanks for all of the comments so far back and forth, it definitely is appreciated.

     

    Looking at your timings - you have 20 of your 45 minutes for setup and Q&A.  Would your session fit in a 20 minute slot?  Just wondering

    Best,

    Joel

    • Shrawan Gaur
      By Shrawan Gaur  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Joel,

      Thanks for your support. 

      I will be using starting 10 mins to give the little background of Agile journey at John Deere and that would lead to setting agenda. It will indicate that how we have come up to know about retro importance and then I will come to Topic itself which constitutes of about 25 mins. After that I will let everyone open for QA as I know that there may be lot of questions related to this and I do not want anyone to be unanswered. Few questions, I will be taking offline.

      I suppose I have answered your query. Feel free to get in touch.

      Thanks,

      Shrawan

       

  • Ram Srinivasan
    By Ram Srinivasan  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Shrawan,

    What is that you do so differently at John Deere so that we Do As you do it ?How context dependent are these techniques/practices?  If they are not, what is that you do differently that makes it superior?

    There are good books on retrospectives - Norm Kerth's book and Esther Derby/Diana Larsen's book. A lot of retrospective techniques are discussed in Derby/Larsen's book. Are you going to be talking about these?  What will be in your "retro toolkit"? 

    I understand the need for keeping the surprise element for your presentation, but as organizers, we do want to ensure that we select good presentations that are worthwhile.  How can we balance this? Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Ram

    PS: please update your proposal as well after clarifying these questions.. Thanks.

  • Nitin Ramrakhyani
    By Nitin Ramrakhyani  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Shrawan,

    Retrospective is certainly a crucial part of being Agile, therefore you proposal is very relevant for this conference. But you could help all the reviewers weigh in this talk against other proposals by elaborating it a bit more. May be list down the techniques you are planning to cover? What are some of the key challenges in doing retrospective, specially since you have recently gone through the journey at John Deere.

    Also, is there's a link to the slides that you plan to use? or any other talk that you would have presented earlier?

    Thanks,

    Nitin

    • Shrawan Gaur
      By Shrawan Gaur  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Nitin,

      The key take away from this talk will be - "Retro Toolkit" which I have updated in the proposal.

      I will be covering some of the popular retro techniques with variations suited to team/sprint needs. Retro techniques will be covering wide aspect which can be easily measured via metrics or it can be solely dependent on emotion of team.

      For now, I do not want to disclose whole list of retro techniques. Let the surprise be in the box. I hope you have got an idea of presentation. Feel free to get in touch.

      Thanks,

      Shrawan

       

      • Joel Tosi
        By Joel Tosi  ~  4 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Shrawan,

           Will you discuss how to know which retro type / tool to go with? Or just provide ideas?  I find sometimes it is more important and possibly challenging to know how to facilitate the retro the team needs rather than just having an approach

         

        Best,

        Joel

  • Sonik Chopra
    By Sonik Chopra  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Shrawan

    Thanks for your proposal on this very important topic. I would appreciate if you can mention few USPs of this presentation. As Retrospectives is a much talked about topic, so I really want to understand the out shines of this presentation.

    Thanks

    Sonik Chopra

     

    • Shrawan Gaur
      By Shrawan Gaur  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Sonik,

      Thanks for supporting my proposal. The key USPs of my presentation is updated under "Retro Toolkit" section.

      I would say that just knowing different techniques will not serve the purpose of effective retro. The key part lies in its way of implementation. I would like to focus more on that aspect.

      Feel free to get in touch in case of any queries.

      Thanks,

      Shrawan

  • Santosh Tripathi
    By Santosh Tripathi  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Shrawan

    This is really very important as after every sprint there is something to improve on so that we will get better and better for future. Very good topic.

    Thanks

     

    Santosh

  • vijeyagoteti
    By vijeyagoteti  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Effective sprint retro's bring out the right learning and action items. Choosing an approprite technique or adapting a technique in our own style to improve team's engagement help the team to stay connected and benefit from the activit.


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    Workshop
    Beginner

    A project can face varied challenges through its life, foreseen and otherwise - runaway scope, high defect volumes, depressed velocity, and many more. Addressing many of these first requires recognition of the problem and then action from one or more sets of project stakeholders. Telling the story with simple visuals can be a very powerful way to articulate a challenge (the what), the potential root causes (the why) and the options available to fix it (the now-what). Teams typically already track a lot of data related to throughput, quality, scope and cost. Creative use of this data combined with simple, hand-crafted visuals can be much more effective than hundreds of bullet points. In this hands-on workshop, you get to exercise your visual thinking and visual communication skills. We introduce some simple visual thinking techniques like Look-See-Imagine-Show, and then let you apply them in a project simulation, so that you can practice hand-rolling simple visuals that speak volumes (no fancy tools needed!).