Road to Sprint Goal

Road to Sprint Goal – The Idea

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.

  • The person is US, the team.
  • The umbrella is the guard or the measures we took to keep us dry and safe from risks
  • Snow/rain is the challenges and risks that come
  • The road is the sprint we have to pass
  • And home, is the sprint goal
Road to Sprint Goal 1
Road to Sprint Goal 2

Weather Report

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.

  • Sunny – Perfect moments
  • Cloudy with a chance of sunshine – Good with the potential of getting great
  • Rainy – Not so good
  • Thunder – Bad

Back to the Future

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.

Road to Sprint Goal 3

Risk and Safety Measures

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.

  • Sprint goal – List the goals that were defined when the sprint was started. For each one of them, list risks we might face when trying to achieve it. And then, list the measures we took to avoid those risks, also the ones we should add to make sure the goal is reached.
  • Take some time to focus on the Risks / Challenges only. Discuss what each team member thinks that is a challenge, something we have never done before, something that is difficult to adapt in the technologies we use, in the projects we have etc.
  • Look back to the actions we had in previous retrospectives, and how they have been useful as measures/guards for us since we started implementing in every working day. Think what else we can add to increase our safety/security.
  • Think about US as a team, how we work and communicate. How it helps or doesn’t. Keep track of the discussion and list down the possible actions for the next sprint.
  • Look at the sprint, bring up the burn down chart if needed, see how much work is completed and where are the difficulties.

Voting

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.

Feedback

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.

  • What did I learn?
    Have the team reflect on the meeting. Let them list the things they have learned during this meeting, that they did not know before. Even if it is personal things or solutions they did not think of before. Have them list it and read out loud in turn. It helps you understand where a person was focused or what they were interested in more.
  • What I would like more of?
    This part is more important about you. See what the team lacked and keep note for the next retrospective. Even if it was a certain kind of beverage or a topic that wasn’t discussed as they’d like, make sure you pay special attention to in the next retrospective.
Road to Sprint Goal 4
Besjana Shabani
Head of Team Happiness & Organisational Talent. SCRUM Master & Tester @ Jaywalker Digital