Stop complaining and start learning! Retrospectives that drive real change.

Good retrospectives (you know, the ones that actually lead to real change?) rest on three pillars:

  1. people,
  2. process, and
  3. follow-through

What makes retrospectives so difficult is that if any of these three pillars starts to crack, it's next to impossible to succeed. Ultimately, getting the right people in the room, utilizing a good process to facilitate the conversation, and following-through on the learning outcomes depend on having an organizational culture that encourages learning, transparency, feedback loops, and continuous improvement.

If this sounds like your company already, then great! This talk is not for you. For everyone else, join us to explore the current trends of employee engagement, how they overlap with agile retrospectives, and the true opportunity each team member has to improve the quality, speed, and outcome of their work. 

 
2 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

Set the Stage (5 min)

  • Opening $20 bill auction game (get the crowd interested)
  • Intro to your speaker
  • Setting expectations for the talk

Intro to employee engagement, and why it's usually broken (10 min)

  • What is employee engagement and why is it so important?
  • Why do traditional approaches to employee engagement fail?
  • What's the impact of low engagement at work?

The three pillars of retrospectives: People, Process, and Follow-Through (10 min)

  • Description of each pillar
  • Why each pillar is so critical to a successful retrospective
  • Why retrospectives so often fail, despite the three pillars

Connecting the dots. Retrospectives => Engagement => Continuous Improvement (15 min)

  • The heart of the talk. Creating links between retros, employee engagement, and continuous improvement. How organizational culture has a direct impact on successful retrospectives, and how successful retrospectives have an equally direct impact on organizational culture.
  • More practically, what can we do to encourage better retrospectives in a company which seems unable to actually improve? What's the relationship between this and employee happiness and engagement?

Closing (5 min)

  • Q&A

Learning Outcome

Specific questions will be answered around:

  • How to create a safe environment for brainstorming, collaboration, and retrospectives
  • How to balance personalities within the group
  • When anonymous feedback is necessary… and when it’s not
  • The role of ongoing feedback in continuous improvement
  • How breaking the mindset around retrospectives can positively impact the ongoing employee engagement crisis

You will also gain an understanding of the pitfalls of traditional employee engagement tactics and how to overcome challenges associated with these efforts by deploying agile retrospectives to create a safe, honest and productive environment for teams to deliver their best work.

Target Audience

scrum masters, agile coaches, managers, POs, and anyone else interested in continuous improvement

Prerequisite

None, other than an interest in truly effective retrospectives and continuous improvement

schedule Submitted 2 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Chris Murman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Murman - Brainwriting: The Team Hack To Generating Better Ideas

    Chris Murman
    Chris Murman
    Sr. Agile Consultant
    Solutions IQ
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner
    Brainstorming has long been held as the best way to get ideas from teams for decades, but what if we are wrong? Can we take the successful aspects of collaboration and create a better environment for quality concepts? Come learn about brainwriting and get more from your team today!
     
    Description:
    If you work in an office, your boss has probably forced you into a brainstorming session or two (or 12). Invented in the 1940s by an advertising executive, the purpose was to solicit a large amount of ideas in a short period of time. By putting a collective of creative people in the same room, better concepts should come. Sounds very agile. 
     
    However, science has shown several times that brainstorming is a terrible technique. It’s cumbersome due to all of the interdependent activities happening at once. When spending time generating ideas as a group, you often spend more time thinking of others ideas than your own. 
     
    Fortunately, a relatively unknown technique is starting to gain popularity called brainwriting. Incorporating it into your team events can produce more diverse ideas and provide a friendlier environment for collaboration. In this session, we will workshop them and leave the audience with all of the tools to bring the technique back to their offices.
     
    What Makes It Compelling:
    I was skeptical when I first read an article on the technique, mainly because I had always believed brainstorming produced quality ideas. As a “stickies and sharpies” type of coach, I’d seen so many teams collectively throw out ideas during planning and retrospective sessions. But in the ensuing weeks, I started seeing where the article was on point in terms of producing quality ideas.
     
    After contrasting the ideas generated after using brainwriting for a few weeks, my mind was changed forever. Even better was the events themselves didn’t seem that different to teams. 
  • Liked Ben Morris
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ben Morris - Start testing in one day: a practical on-ramp to add automated testing to an existing app

    Ben Morris
    Ben Morris
    Consultant
    STSI
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Tutorial
    Intermediate

    Test automation is hard. Adding test automation to a complex existing application is harder. Worry not, a pragmatic, incremental path to roll out automated testing does indeed exist, despite what some developers will tell you. 

    The talk lays out the process to get started small, with working automated tests on day 1, and work from there. We describe and demonstrate the tools, including cucumber, selenium, rspec, and more. We discuss how we start simply, then gradually integrate tests into an automated process, i.e. your CI pipeline.

    The talk is mostly practical. A few overview slides provide context of the moving parts. Most of the time is spent on giving you the path to begin testing tomorrow!

  • Liked Ben Morris
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ben Morris - The 12 Factor App, a primer on the 'manifesto' for DevOps & cloud-native apps

    Ben Morris
    Ben Morris
    Consultant
    STSI
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    10 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    If you haven't heard of The 12 Factor App, you probably will soon. Think of it as "the agile manifesto for DevOps." This talk helps you quickly become familiar with the basics of the 12 Factors that make applications cloud ready or "cloud native."

    This talk allows you to trade 10 minutes of your time in order to get a bit smarter. Learn *just* enough to be dangerous, and use that knowledge to impress developers by spewing buzzwords like persistence, disposability, statelessness, and port binding. At least be able to push back intelligently when someone is telling you the app can't be put on the cloud. Learn what is meant by "livestock, not pets" and where to find out more if the talk sparks your imagination.

  • Liked JeffreyMFarley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    JeffreyMFarley - The Cathedral & The Bizarre: Open Source Development with ~100 developers

    JeffreyMFarley
    JeffreyMFarley
    Solution Architect
    STSI Inc.
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Unlike most government agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) uses open source to develop their public website.  They have evolved a set of best practices to help manage the mostly remote contributors over the 5 years of developing the site.

    This talk will focus on what works and what other agencies can do to emulate their success. It will also talk about current pain points and ideas for mitigating these

  • Liked Avinash Tripathi
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Avinash Tripathi - Retrospectives - They Are Not Just About What Went Good, What Went Bad and What To Improve

    Avinash Tripathi
    Avinash Tripathi
    Agile Coach
    ECOM Consulting Inc
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Retrospectives are one of the events in Scrum which give opportunities to a Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvement. However, very often, this event tends to become boring and get away from the answers to three basic questions, What Went Good, What Went Bad and What To Improve. For that matter, at times team may not have food for thought and hence they disengage from these questions. So, what needs to be done or in fact, what can be done in such scenarios? Well, Retrospectives are all about figuring out what needs to be done. But, how do you know what to do, if you do not know what you did?. For starters, measuring a team’s progress on Sprint by Sprint basis might be a solution. Having such data might not solve many problems, but, it could certainly expose them. There are three basic metrics, which have been found to be beneficial for teams’ progress and also thought triggers in Retrospectives. As Mike Cohn once said, measure only what can be measured. Metrics can be misleading, hence it is up to us to measure what makes sense and use it to improve the team.

     

  • Liked JeffreyMFarley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    JeffreyMFarley - Flags Suck

    JeffreyMFarley
    JeffreyMFarley
    Solution Architect
    STSI Inc.
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    10 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Every developer has used a boolean flag to solve a problem with their code.

    This is wrong and it should stop