Coming up with ideas for retrospective meetings, is kind of hard some times. Other times, they just come to you from every day life. As an example was this last retrospective we had. The idea hit me when I was walking home from work one day. It was raining and all I could think about was how a smart move was to bring the umbrella with me at work ,even though it was a sunny morning.
So, the next day as soon as I got to work, I sat down and drew a simple sketch of a person walking with an umbrella, in rain headed for home. What I did next was identify all the objects and relate them to work.
Of course I could not start a meeting by diving straight into the main course, so for checking in I thought to keep it Weather related. And what better activity is there than the Weather report we did before. I personally like this activity very much. It’s simple, gives you plenty of options to express and relate to moments or tasks that went down the previous sprint.
It always helps to take a look back every once in a while, see where you’ve left off and pick it up right there. In this case we look back to the actions we defined in the past retrospective meeting. How many of them were achieved, why the rest weren’t? Where were the difficulties? What was the end result? If it worked or not, do we think we should continue doing it? Discuss and make notes for new possible actions.
As mentioned earlier, the road to sprint goal was chosen for the main course of the retrospective meeting. Give the team time to identify the risks, safety measures and the sprint in general. Start with the clearest one.
Voting, a key part in a retrospective meeting. I keep mentioning this, but this is where the team decides what to do. Bring up all the possible actions discussed during the meeting and have the team vote on the most important ones. 3 or 4 most voted actions are chosen to be reached in this sprint. Pay close attention to what the team sees more important, or suggest others according to the sprint goal and priorities.
To make sure your retrospective was helpful and worked with the team, always set aside some time for the feedback from the team. As all the discussions come to an end, topics are cleared, solutions have been presented, have a white board in front of the team and split it in two.