One of the most important aspects of agile is the retrospective. This meeting allows team members to reflect on their past work, identify areas for improvement, and come up with ways to do better in the future.
But if the retrospective isn’t structured correctly, it can be ineffective or even damaging to the team.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly structure a retrospective so that it leads to positive results for your team!
1. Start with a positive focus.
It’s important to start the retrospective on a positive note. Team members should feel like they are being heard and that their input is valued.
This will set the tone for the rest of the meeting and make it more likely that team members will be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings.
To start on a positive note, you can begin by asking everyone to share one thing that went well during the previous sprint.
This allows team members to reflect on their accomplishments and gives everyone a chance to celebrate their successes!
Once everyone has had a chance to share, you can move on to discussing areas for improvement.
But be sure to keep the focus positive – this is not a time for finger-pointing or blame. The goal is to identify areas where the team can do better, not to assign blame for past mistakes.
2. Consider Sprint retrospective
One of the most important aspects of this type of retrospective meeting is that it is time-boxed. This means that the meeting should have a set start and end time, and team members should not feel like they are being forced to hurry through their discussion.
The length of the sprint retrospective will depend on the size of your team and the amount of work that was completed during the previous sprint. A good rule of thumb is to allow 30 minutes for every week of the sprint.
So, if your team completed four weeks of work, the retrospective should last for two hours. If you find that your retrospective is consistently running over time, you may need to consider changing the format or structure of the meeting.
This type of retrospective meeting should also be held at the same time and place each week.
This helps to ensure that team members can attend the meeting and that it doesn’t interfere with other commitments.
It’s also important to have a dedicated space for the retrospective so that team members can focus on the discussion without being distracted by other things going on around them.
3. Use a facilitated discussion
This type of retrospective meeting should be facilitated by a neutral party. This can be the Scrum Master, a team member who volunteers to lead the meeting or even an outside facilitator.
The important thing is that the person leading the meeting is not involved in the work of the team and can help to keep the discussion on track. If you are using a facilitated discussion, there are a few ground rules that should be followed.
First, all team members should have an equal opportunity to speak. This means that no one person should dominate the conversation and that everyone’s input is valued. Second, all comments should be respectful and constructive.
This is not a time for personal attacks or criticism – remember, the goal is to improve the team’s work, not to tear each other down.
Finally, all ideas should be considered and discussed openly. The facilitator should encourage team members to think creatively and come up with new solutions to problems.
4. Set actionable goals
The retrospective should end with the team setting some actionable goals for the next sprint.
These goals should be based on the discussion that took place during the meeting and should be achievable within the time frame of the next sprint.
The Scrum Master or team leader should help to facilitate this discussion and make sure that all team members agree on the goals that are set.
Once the goals are set, each team member should have a clear understanding of what they need to do to help achieve them.
5. Follow up after the meeting
The retrospective is not a one-time event – it should be an ongoing process that is revisited each week.
After the meeting, the Scrum Master or team leader should follow up with team members to make sure that they are taking action on the goals that were set.
This follow-up can be done via email, in person, or even through a tool like Jira. The important thing is that team members feel accountable for their actions and that they are working towards improving the team’s work.
6. Use retrospective tools
There are a number of different retrospective tools that can be used to help facilitate the meeting. Some of these tools include:
– The Plus/Delta method, which involves team members identifying what went well (the “plus”) and what could be improved (the “delta”) during the previous sprint.
– The Start, Stop, Continue method, which involves team members discussing what they should start doing, stop doing, and continue doing in order to improve their work.
– The Four L’s method, involves team members identifying four things: what they learned during the previous sprint, what they liked about the sprint, what they lacked during the sprint, and what they longed for during the sprint.
Whichever tool you choose to use, the important thing is that it helps to improve the team’s discussion and helps to set actionable goals for the next sprint.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! The retrospective is a time for the team to come together and improve their work, but it should also be enjoyable. Make sure to take breaks, keep the discussion lighthearted, and celebrate the team’s accomplishments.
After all, the goal of the retrospective is to help the team learn and grow – and that can only be done if everyone is having a good time.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful in teaching you how to properly structure a retrospective.