- Draw happy and sad faces on the board
- Draw arrows: up, down, equal (to represent "do more of, do less of, keep the same")
- Everyone quietly reflects on the sprint and writes their thoughts on sticky notes
- They then stick the notes by the icon that fits the most, happy, sad, keep the same, etc
- We all then gather round and look at the notes, taking it in to find common themes
- The notes are then grouped into rough themes
- Actions are derived from the themes and (sometimes!) assigned an owner
- We all wander back to our desks, somewhat satisfied that things will change in the next sprint
- Outcomes are documented on the wiki with photos of the whiteboards
On one hand, I have to commend the team for sticking with the retrospective process, sprint after sprint, rather than abandoning it, which is what a lot of teams tend to do. Retros can be the first thing to go in Agile teams, as they can feel like a waste of time, especially if no actions come out of them.
On the other hand, we let the process get stale to the point where it seemed like a robotic action to go through every other week.
It was time to shake things up and do the retros a little differently. We decided to learn some tricks from another team, and try part of their retro method.
In this exercise, you go around the room and everyone states:
- How they rated the sprint on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being best
- List 3 words that describe the sprint for you
|Everyone rates and describes the sprint|
In this exercise, everyone takes a marker and makes a graph of their happiness throughout the sprint. It allows you to see where blockers had an impact on team morale or where one person is feeling particularly frustrated by something.
|A visualisation of team happiness|
We then finished the session with the exercise to understand common themes:
|Uncovering common themes|