This will fun filled simulation workshop is one I've run with many Agile user groups. It is so effective as its come from REAL retrospectives I've facilitated with REAL teams that have achieved REAL results.

The session will begin by setting the scene to give some context, giving the audience a brief background of what data driven retrospectives are and why do them.

Then we dive straight into the activities. The participants will be split into 3 teams. They will be given a scenario that they can all associate with from real life, a board workflow and some metrics captured.

What lies ahead will then be 3 action packed, time boxed rounds that encourage fun, energy and quick collaboration between teams. The teams will analyse their data, identify problems, suggest changes and convert them to REAL actionable tasks using their own board.

After each round, the team share the improvement changes they have made with the whole group, what it did for their results using their board as a reference and what they will consider next.

As the rounds continue the teams will visibly see the value on the mix of people, collaboration and data in their results and continuous improvement as a unit.

The session will end with a group reelection on the past 90 minutes which will empathise that this isn't a Kanban activity. It is an activity people and teams everywhere can benefit from. Scrum teams can do this, ScrumBan teams can do this, Waterfall teams using a Kanban board can do this.

The principles will be the same:

*****  People + Collaboration + Real data = Continuous Improvement( Whatever your Flavour) ****

Oh I probably should. mention the small matter of HAPPY MOTIVATED PEOPLE laughing too.

NOTE - It's currently 8.58pm on submission deadline day when I am submitting this (Sept 10) so vote for this submission because everyone loves Just in Time right :)

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Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Introduction to Data Driven Retrospectives - 10 MINS (all) **Fun + Energy reminderlaughing **

Split into 3 teams and brief - 10 MINS (3 teams)

Round 1 - Team use data to analyse and problem solve - 10 MINS (all 3 teams)

Round 1 feedback - 10 MINS (2 mins per team plus contingency)

Round 2 - Introduce changes, analyse results and problem solve- 10 MINS (all 3 teams)

Round 2 feedback - 10 MINS (2 mins per team plus contingency)

Round 3 - Final changes, analyse results and problem solve - 10 MINS (all 3 teams)

Round 3 feedback - 10 MINS (2 mins per team plus contingency)

Learnings/Takeaways - group replay of learnings, final summary a) Any team can use this b) Understand important combo of people and data coming together 5 MINS


*** NOTE - Some contingency time is built in here, but this can be flexed to fill the slot if needed. Having done this numerous times, give and take 5 mins either side of the structure/times above are accurate. ***

Learning Outcome

What are Data Driven Retrospectives and why do them - The Audience/participants will get a little bit of theory but this is hands on and practical rather than a slide deck. So rather than listen to a lecture they will get a real life experience

How to run a Data Driven Retrospective - Audience will go away knowing how to apply something that will work in their own teams. Again benefitting from doing rather than listening to make the idea stick so they feel confident to go away and try it.

Knowledge that I will share from my first hand experience about how this has worked with real teams! . This will be a linked theme throughout; during the introduction, throughout every round and in the takeaways at the end so it cements the idea in their head that this is from the real world, giving them the confidence to go and try it in their real world

A 'How to' Simple step by step handout of how to run this activity with their own teams - this will help consolidate/refresh the audience/participants on what they have learnt once they've had a night's sleep :)

Whilst David Anderson eluded to this sort of activity in the blue 'Kanban' book, the audience/participants will see how I've took the ball and ran with it here.  Defining an easy yet solid structure of how to run this activity to make sure the people element is just as focused as the data/metrics part of it because data is great but we need people to collaborate to look at the data to push the boundaries and figure out how these problems they identify can be solved. 




Target Audience

Anyone working on an Agile team in any role - eg Developers, BAs, DevOps, Scrum Master, Product Owner, any other wonderful titles :)

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Chris Roberts
    By Chris Roberts  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hey Ellen/ReviewCommittee,

    Further to our discussion, I've added some more content to the links section:

    1) A short video - this gives an outline of my proposal and states why I love this topic and think it would be a good fit for Agile India 2016

    2) Presentation links - links to 2 of my previous presentation decks

    3) Images - from teams doing Data Driven Retrospective workshops


    Let me know if you need anything else.




  • Ellen Grove
    By Ellen Grove  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Chris!

    This sounds like an interesting workshop, but I'm curious as to how many people this will scale to accommodate.  Your requirements mentions 3 tables of 6, but Agile India is quite a large conference - would you be able to facilitate this workshop with a much larger group of people (eg. 60-100?)


    • Chris Roberts
      By Chris Roberts  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hey Ellen,

      Thanks for your message.  I notice you've submitted a number of proposals yourself. Are you on the panel?

      Yes I realise that it's a large conference :) The workshop can scale dependant upon requirements from the organisers.

      I've been to many large conferences which may have big open sessions but also have smaller dedicated sessions that individuals get a lot more value out of.

      I think it's one (of a number) of effective ways to show diversity which I'm sure is something Agile India will want to get across.



      • Ellen Grove
        By Ellen Grove  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Chris

        I'm the theme chair for the Agile in the Trenches theme at Agile India 2016.  I've used confengine for a few of the events I've organized so there's quite a few of my proposals in the system :)  It's a rather handy tool for conference organizers.

        Agile India usually has 3-4 daily tracks and several hundred people on any given day, so it's to be expected that there will be at least 80-100 people in any session. I usually offer experiential workshops myself, so I have a good grasp of some of the challenges of scaling sessions to accommodate large groups of participants.  Is there a way to scale your workshop for a larger group?  If so, can you let us know?

        Also, can you please give the reviewers some sense of your previous speaking experience?  Links to slides or videos of presentations you've given would be very helpful.



        • Chris Roberts
          By Chris Roberts  ~  3 years ago
          reply Reply

          Hey Ellen,

          Thanks for getting back to me.

          Yes we can scale this. What has worked well before when we scale this exercise for bigger numbers is:

          • Having a fellow coach pair up with me to ensure as we scale the activites can be effectively facilitated between the audience and the participating teams.
          • The participating teams are 3 groups of 10 who carry out the activities (the simulation)
          • The additional people are the audience who can observe and contribute with feedback as we go (each round) so they still feel a part of it
          • To ensure it's effectively run another thing I like to do with bigger numbers is have a very simple rules sheet for each team so they can get off the ground with the activities quickly.
          • Especially with scaling, the key to it all is simplicity, as I've found that complexity with these types of workshops can confuse people and be ineffective.

          I've spoken at Lean Agile Manchester earlier this year and numerous Agile Meet Ups which also include Agile Sheffield. In addition to this though over the last 4-5 years I have run this workshop and dozens of ones like it with groups ranging from 10-80 people.

          I am a confident speaker who is always looking to continually develop. I am certainly not a beginner, but not an expert yet either, so am in the intermediate space.  


          Is there an email address I can send you some attachments to please?