Retro to reflect 2016

2016 was a heavy year! We learned a lot and we knew exactly where we needed to adjust for 2017. As we are a very diverse team everybody had another view of what went well and what not. To collect that and define actions for 2017 we slightly modified the retro meeting we use during Scrum.

We planned 3 hours for our retro meeting. Phones, notebooks and any other distracting devices were not allowed. Our only tools were Post-its and markers.

I used all my drawing skills to draw the following 4-step process through which I am will guide the team.

1. Draw the year

To get everyone into the creativity mood they had to draw the year 2016 on one or more post-its. Easier done than said. This is a great way to visualize what happened in 2016 and a way to express feelings. The drawing had then to be put in between the sun and the thunder regarding to the feelings if they were positive or negative. Every team member had then the possibility to explain his drawing and his feelings to the team.

2. What drives us & what slows us down

The next question had the goal to define what slows us down and what drives us. Again the team member had time to take notes on their post-its. This time drawing was optional. Every team member then explained to the others what he posted on the wall. Tasks that are unclear and need to be discussed can be done right after the presentation. The discussion is a very important part and an preparation for the next steps

3. Risks & bridges

Regarding to what slows us down and changes in the business environment risks could arise. To prevent that it is important to write them down and to find bridges which do not stop us from reaching our goals. Once risks are defined by the team they can start working on finding bridges which can help avoiding to land in the abyss.

4. Actions

The last step in our journey was to define actions needed. Once the bridge is built it will not stop us from reaching the finish line. Actions will be defined within the team. Every time member has 3 points to vote for the most needed actions. The actions will then be prioritized by the count of their votes and assigned to specific team member or the whole team itself. The team has now time to work on those actions until the next review.

Retro Feedback

Never forget to ask for feedback. Every team member should take a post-it and put it on the upper or lower part of the paper, regarding to how he liked the retro meeting. Next everybody can express how he felt during the retro and can give his feedback on what can be improved for the next retro.

Download Retro Design

In case you plan to do the same retro meeting with your team, feel free to download our Retro Model.

We wish you a successful meeting with a lot of insights and a great outcome.

Burim Muqa
Passionate Developer & Photographer (@bmuqa). Traveling and exploring whole Europe to find the best spots.