Are Retrospectives Fun and Useful in your team?

Have you heard people say…

   -  “Oh No, Not Again!”

   -  Do we really need to meet?

   -  I have some pending stuff from previous sprint

                                                          -  We anyway did not act on the previous Retro. Its a waste.

So, while all other ceremonies go well and are embraced well, what is the issue with Retros?

 

The Problem:

a)      Three Standard Questions (same perspective over and over)

b)      Very less actions taken on the action items

c)      No change in focus or purpose

d)      Awareness issue on what a Retro should be like

e)      Awareness issue on who all should participate

f)       Awareness issue on how to create the right environment under various conditions

 

The Result: Retros tend to become boring and useless, and become a formality dreaded by many teams.

 

So, how do you BREATHE LIFE into your Retros?

You will Learn (with HANDS ON activities), some of the Techniques that we have TRIED and TESTED over the years, which makes the retros fun and really useful!!!

 
7 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 4 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

-          (3 mins)   - Discuss with the audience about the Problems & explain the session Objective

-          (17 mins) – A Hands on activity (of a Very good  &  Fun-filled Retro Technique)

                                       (to show that Alternate techniques are GREAT)

-          (10 mins) – Explain the Interesting and Simple Techniques    &    How they will help you.

-          (5 Mins) –    When do you use which Technique?

-          (10 mins) –  How do you create the right environment for a Retro?

-                              -   Who all should participate?

-                              -   Mitigation, if the environment is not right.

                               -   Some Pitfalls & how do you avoid them.

                               -   How do you decide between Open & Anonymous Retros

-          (15 mins) – A Hands on Activity (of another good technique)

Learning Outcome

-          Learn to conduct Interesting, Fun-filled and Simple techniques of Retros (tried and tested by us over the years)

-          Learn when you should use which technique (change the focus based on the phase/situation of the project or team )

-          Learn to create the right environment

-          Learn to decide on Open vs. Anonymous retros

-          Learn important elements that enable a retro to be really successful in difficult team environments

-          Learn about the pitfalls and understand how to avoid them

-          Apply in your team and make your life easy by conducting Successful Retros!   Applying them will spur more ideas!

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Agile Team members, Managers/Leads

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Sunil,

       I appreciate the intent of the session.  Is 45 or 60 minutes enough with the exercises?  I am guessing you have done this presentation before?  If there is a large number of attendees in your session, would you need assistance?

    Best,

    Joel

    • Sunil Roy
      By Sunil Roy  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks Joel for these useful questions!

      Answers...

      Q1) Is 45 or 60 minutes enough with the exercises?  I am guessing you have done this presentation before?

      Ans) I have done this before in different durations

      a) 1 Hour =>

           i)  2 Activities (1 at start, 1 at end)

           ii) Cover the Agenda as per the Outline above

       

      b) 1.1/2 Hours => 

           i)  2 Activities (1 at start, 1 at end)

           ii) Cover the agenda as per the Outline

           iii) Discuss some of the Challenges that the PARTICIPANTS have faced in THEIR OWN Retros

       

      c) 45 Mins (in case of time constraint) =>

           i)  1 Activity (at start) (instead of 2 Activities)

           ii) Cover the agenda as per the Outline above

       ----------------- 

      The activities have better retention than presenting, and thus the stress on activites.

      In a conference, where people need to catch up on multiple sessions in a day, I decided to keet it crisp (1 Hour).

      But, I personally love the 1.1/2 Hour format, since it allows me to discuss some real challenges faced by the participants in their own retoros.

      I would of course welcome suggestions from anyone.

      ---------------------------

       

      Q2) If there is a large number of attendees in your session, would you need assistance?

      Ans) Thanks for asking.

      One of the following could be done (with your help)...

         a)  Change it to a 1.1/2 Hour format      OR

         b)  A helping hand would be Terrific      OR

         c)  BOTH

      I have generally managed myseilf, but a helping hand can of course save some time for the participants, especially in case of 1 Hour & a Large croud.

       I would of course welcome suggestions from anyone.

       

      Thanks,

      Sunil Roy

      • Savita Pahuja
        By Savita Pahuja  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Sunil

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would like to know if you will get 45 or 60 minutes. based on the time what all specific activities would you like to conduct during the session?

        Including less activities with end to end understanding including the pros and cons, real life examples, is better than including more with less information. Please share your thoughts on this.

        • Sunil Roy
          By Sunil Roy  ~  3 years ago
          reply Reply

          Thanks Savita for your question!

          I hope I got your question properly, since it was a little less specific  :)

          The activities have better retention than presenting, and thus the stress on activites.

          I have opted for 1 Hour, so that we do have 2 exercises at least.

          I have generally found value (to the audience) in this order...

          1.1/2 Hours => Maximum Value

          1 Hour => Very Good Value

          45 Mins. => Fairly Good Value

          Suggestions Welcome!!!

          Cheers...

          --Sunil