Sprint Retrospective3:48 with Matt Anthes-Washburn
The retrospective allows the team to reflect on its successes and failures and commit to something team members can change about how they carry out the next sprint.
Facilitating the Sprint Retrospective requires craft. Some excellent books provide ideas for creating a safe space for reflection and mixing up the activity so teams don’t tire of the Sprint Retrospective.
Agile Retrospectives, Esther Derby and Diana Larsen, 2006.
The Retrospective Handbook, Patrick Kua, 2013
After wrapping up a sprint, it's important for 0:00 the team to reflect on its successes and failures. 0:02 Then the team commits to something they can change 0:05 about how they carry out the next sprint. 0:08 Just as the development of software is an iterative process, 0:11 developing an effective team involves practice, reflection, and iteration. 0:15 The retrospective should be facilitated by someone outside the team 0:20 who everyone can trust. 0:23 It shouldn't be a manager or someone whose presence might be intimidating. 0:25 The retrospective must be a place where everyone can be open and honest without 0:29 fear that they might be evaluated poorly, or otherwise run into consequences. 0:33 A common tool of the retrospective is a stack of sticky notes for 0:38 each team member. 0:42 Typically the facilitator starts by asking the team to construct a sprint timeline. 0:44 This grounds the team's reflection in the sprint that has just concluded. 0:49 The team is given a few minutes during which each team member recalls key events 0:53 in the sprint, writes them on stickies, and adds them to the timeline. 0:57 Then the facilitator reviews the timeline with the whole team. 1:02 Whole books have been written on the sprint retrospective alone. 1:06 And there are many ways to facilitate the group's reflection on their work. 1:10 To avoid fatigue, the facilitator should mix it up, 1:14 using different retrospective games to illicit the team's learnings. 1:17 A typical, if often overused retrospective technique, is for 1:21 team members to write the answers to three questions. 1:26 What went well? 1:30 What could have gone better? 1:31 And, what can we change? 1:33 There are many excellent guides written on the sprint retrospective, 1:35 with various activities to facilitate team reflection. 1:38 The goal of any exercise is the same, for 1:42 the team to reflect on their practice and choose one measurable goal 1:45 they can work on to improve their practice in the next sprint. 1:49 Here's a simple example using a sailboat analogy. 1:52 In this analogy, we have this really great sailboat that gets us where we wanna go. 1:55 Team members are asked to think of and write down things that are helping move 2:00 the boat, things that we should bring with us, and things that slow us down. 2:04 Next, everyone on the team gets a few minutes to reflect and 2:09 write their ideas, each on a separate sticky. 2:13 After time is up, team members take turns reading their item aloud. 2:17 Other team members may ask clarifying questions and 2:21 the author places the sticky on the sailboat. 2:24 If it's something that helps the team it's placed on the sails. 2:27 Things the team values go in the boat. 2:31 Things that slow the team down go on the anchor. 2:34 If an item is red, and another team member has a similar item, they can place their 2:37 sticky next to the first item on the board with a brief explanation. 2:41 This moves things along quickly. 2:45 Once all the items are placed, team members get to vote for 2:48 the item that deserves attention in the next sprint. 2:51 Team members use a pen, marker, or 2:54 sticker to place a dot on the item they would like to vote for. 2:56 Each team member is allotted three dots they can distribute as they wish. 3:00 For example, if I feel really strongly about a particular item, 3:04 I can place all three of my dots on a single item. 3:08 When all votes are cast, the team reviews a few of the highest vote getters, and 3:10 discusses how to craft one of those items as a specific and measurable goal. 3:15 An example might be, we will keep the stand up meetings to 15 minutes. 3:20 This is specific because it refers to one area of practice and 3:24 it is measurable because the team can track the time of each stand up meeting 3:28 and note whether they concluded within 15 minutes. 3:32 The team may also discuss tactics for meeting the goal. 3:35 Like posting the three stand up questions on the wall, bringing a visible timer 3:39 to the stand up meeting, or even time boxing each check in. 3:44
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