The Secrets of Facilitating Retrospectives and other Meetings

location_city Singapore schedule Oct 7th 02:45 - 03:30 PM +08 place Legends II

Retrospectives and other meetings are typically the events where information is shared and decisions are made. This means, that a lot of work is done or at least guided by such meetings. Moreover as a coach, most often you are leveraging retrospectives and other meetings in order to introduce change or to deal with challenges during change.

Luckily, meanwhile there are a lot of books available focusing on techniques, activities, games, and the structure of retrospectives. These books and the respective courses provide a good foundation for leading a retrospective. Yet, these are tools only. Because, although we often have a great toolbox of facilitation techniques handy, the retrospectives we're facilitating aren't always successful. The reason is that we're putting too much emphasis on games, activities, and formats and too less on the craft of facilitation. In this session you will learn what to focus on when preparing a retrospective (or a similar facilitated event), how to ensure that as a facilitator you will have the "right" attitude, and how to ensure smooth group decisions. By understanding the role of the facilitator you will learn for example, how to keep all participants engaged (even the quiet ones and without having the talkatives using up the whole time), or how to deal with issues that are not solvable by the team.

In this session I want to share my experiences based not only on having facilitated many retrospectives, yet also on having completed both a course of teacher training and of professional facilitation.


Outline/Structure of the Talk


  • Set the stage by clarifying the goal (5min)
  • Preparation (methodical, personal, ...) (15min)
  • Design & Construction (dealing with time, framing activities, ...) (15min)
  • Facilitator's Attitude (Theme Centered Interaction, constructivism, group dynamics, what to do under pressure, …) (20min)
  • Specific Problems (unsolvable problems, always the same problems, decision making, ...) (15min)
  • Debrief & Wrap-Up (5min)


Learning Outcome

  • Learn how to ensure a group decision with the buy-in from everyone
  • Learn to deal with timeboxes: when do they help, when do they disturb
  • Understand the importance of the preparation (methodical, physical, personal, organizational)
  • Increase your awareness of group dynamics

Target Audience

Developers, Scrum Masters, Product Owner, Managers, Project Managers, and anyone who wants to improve his/her facilitation skill



schedule Submitted 6 years ago

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