Best Retrospective Techniques For Agile Teams

Retrospective Techniques For Agile

In Scrum framework, retrospective is the last event of each sprint and has also been one of the most rushed events in our experience. This has meant that the event has failed in helping the team, consequently failing in its purpose and has thus been considered mostly as an helpless event. There could be broadly three reasons why this happens :

  1. The team is using the same technique all the time and they are already bored enough
  2. The team is using multiple new techniques where the ‘fun’ gets more important than retrospection
  3. They may failed to improve on identified pointers and think retro is primarily a routine instead of a meaningful event

To counter this, below is one format that we suggest you try for your retrospective.

Do let us know your experience, queries or clarifications on the retrospectives in the comments below, we will love to hear from you!

Ensure anonymity (It’s key) & at the same time engage everyone. That doesn’t mean that they need to talk all the time but they need to be engaged all the time.
Step 1 (10 min)Step 2 (30 min)Step 3 (5 min)Step 4 (10-15 min)
Collect the ideasDiscuss the ideasVoteDefine ‘how to improve?’ for each idea
Explain the format to everyone. Keep a timer ready and then let them all brainstorm against various dimensions, take a deep dive and submit their ideas before the time is upWe all should spend some time reading all the ideas. If possible, combine the similar ones.. Now, one by one, we should discuss them and share our opinionIt is not possible to improve on more than 2 or 3 lessons hence voting helps. We can give equal vote rights to all members and then check the points that received maximum votes.Here we need to define the measurable points against each voted item. This gives us a clear idea on what exactly we need to do to make the improvement. It’s all about being more specific.
All the ideas are submitted and are ready to discussAt the offset of step 2, we have discussed all the ideas by everyone and also shared our viewsThe most voted items are shortlisted as the final ones which team wants to improve.We can then conclude the event by reading and formally agreeing on our intent to improve on finalised voted items

Below are snapshots of how a retrospective event turns out.

retrospective event snapshot
6 thinking hats
Sprint Retrospective Board

Wishing you all the best in your Agile Journey!

Anuj M Ojha

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