Conducting Sprint Retrospective Meetings
Agile is all about continuous improvement and active participation.Follow along with the process of conducting productive sprint retrospective meetings.
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What Is a Sprint Retrospective?
What Do You need?
In case your team is meeting remotely, you will need:
Video Conferencing Tool
You will need a video conferencing tool such as Google Hangout, Zoom, WebEx, etc., for the team to collaborate. It's a good idea to have the videos on so that your team can see each other in real-time.
You will need a digital tool for the team to work together during this session. For example, many teams use a Confluence page, Retrium, online docs, or some other tool through which teams can collaborate in real-time.
A meeting place for the team members to meet and collaborate.
Whiteboard and Markers
For the team members to write their thoughts and inputs.
To keep track of the time. You can use your cellphone for it.
For conducting a productive session, you can create a Retrium session, a Google or Word doc, or aboard. In the case of a remote team, it makes sense to use online collaboration tools such as Confluence, Trello, Retrium, etc. For the in-person session, you can use a whiteboard and have the sticky notes or markers handy for the team members to use. On the doc or the board, create three sections:
- What went well - This section will cover things that worked well, and the team would like to continue doing.
- What didn't go well - This section will cover things that team felt didn't work well. These are the things that need to be changed or course-corrected.
- Action items - This section should be used for actions that need to be taken in the next sprints.
You can have neutral facilitators in the meeting to ensure there is no bias.
Setting the Context
It's very important to set the context for a productive and honest discussion. Layout the ground rules for the session as the main reason for this meeting is to find out the improvement opportunities and have an open discussion.
- Have an open mind
- This discussion is not for finger-pointing but for finding improvement opportunities.
- Everyone's opinion counts. They may have different experiences than you. So listen without judging.
- The meeting should have a specific time period in mind - whether the last sprint, last quarter, etc.
What Went Well
Each team member writes their perspective on what went well. You can group similar ideas or themes together. This will help in understanding from a broader perspective what was going well.
What Can Be Done Better
Team members write down their thoughts on what can be improved. Then, you can group similar ideas and themes. This will help you identify improvement opportunities on a broader level.
After looking at what went well and what can be done better, the team brainstorms on actions that can be taken to improve the process in the future. As before, you can group ideas grouped together and try to identify themes. Most of the action items might stem from your what went well and what can be done better sections.
Once the retrospective meeting is done, follow through on the action items and ensure that you are tracking the progress. Agile is all about continuous improvement and active participation.
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