With the Soccer World Cup getting into full swing, my current team talk of little else. We have a sweepstake going and I have Poland. The winner will receive £100. Given the level of excitement the team has for the World Cup I decided to tap into that for their retrospective last week. The format worked really well, and the team loved the competition element. If your team is football crazy, try it out with them too. Continue reading “The World Cup Retrospective”
I love retrospectives. They’re one of the easiest and most effective ways of directly implementing an agile principle. (At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.) Retrospectives should be something that the team looks forward to because they know that it means that during the next iteration they’re going to improve. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case for all the teams I meet. In this post I’ll talk about how you can improve your team’s retrospectives so that they can be excited about them and improve their ways of working. Continue reading “Increasing Team Engagement in Retrospectives”
Every now and then every ScrumMaster or Agile Coach meets a team that doesn’t show any of the Scrum values in their day to day interactions. This can be frustrating to the agilist, but to the team it can be psychologically harmful and have a severe impact upon their performance. Taking a lead from professional coaching, I believe that the answer to this problem in the team exists within the team itself. I set to work creating a retrospective that would help this team create a charter that they own and buy into. Continue reading “The Journey to Creating a Team Charter”
When I was a developer, I understood in theory that retrospectives were a good things and were there to help the team improve over time. The thing was, that isn’t how it worked in practice. Our ScrumMaster ran the same retro every time. He would walk in, draw three columns on a flip chart, and labelled them Positive, Negative, and Delta. The team would then sit quietly and write up the same things on stickies that we had written last time. Our ScrumMaster would then quickly read out the good things, let us spend half an hour whinging at each other about the negatives, and finally we would agree to change all the things that we hadn’t changed before. When I decided to become a ScrumMaster, I promised myself that I would never put a team through that.
Agile retrospectives are something that all agile teams are by now familiar with, to one extent or another. Retros are built into the manifesto in Principle 12; At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly. Retros were built into frameworks such as eXtreme Programming and Scrum, and have now become a staple of the cadence we expect to see in any kind of agile team. Given their high significance in our processes, and being process managers, retrospectives should be of the highest priority to ScrumMasters. Continue reading “Thoughts in Retrospective”