Working in agile work environments provides continuous improvement to be achieved. A retrospective allows one to look back at past situations or events. It offers an opportunity for the Scrum Team to adequately inspect itself and make a plan for improvements during the next Sprint.
How to Guide a Sprint Retrospective?
The following techniques will help guide a sprint retrospective.
Keep It Simple
Sometimes, the most effective way to make the next sprint retrospective effective is by asking the team what they would like to stop, continue doing, or start. For example, the team might identify that they would like to start writing test cases during the time of the user story creation. They may also decide to continue experimenting with new tools. As for stop, they might want to stop going over the 20 recommended minutes for daily stand-ups. Ensure mass participation and document all of the suggestions.
Incorporate games and different tactics into the sprint retrospective. There are many examples of these. Make sure to pick one out, which makes the most sense for the team. However, run through it with the team beforehand. They can be productive, fun, and effective. The facilitator has to be prepared.
The Lean Coffee Approach can be used for setting the retrospective agent. It will be democratically generated. It might be great for the group that doesn’t stay on topic and one which tends to spend more time on a particular discussion point. Different colored markers and sticky notes can be used to identify and document the outcomes.
When assigning anything to someone on the team, make sure that it is actionable. The person does not need to fall on the project manager. The truth is that they shouldn’t have to. The conversation has to be helpful and constructive. Change needs to be implemented across the team if ripples are to be felt. The list should be visible for everyone to see. The expectations and deadlines need to be set.
Bring Outside Perspective
If one is looking for some backup, then it would be wise to bring in someone such as an agile coach for helping with the retrospective facilitation. Some of the finer points of the conversation can be teased out as there are plenty of experts out there. This would help drive change for the team. An outsider perspective is always an important one.
There are different Retrospective activities and formats which can be used to enhance the meetings. If the team begins to fall into a rut using the same format, then it should be switched to another. Small changes can also be made. The goal should be to re-spark engagement. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and make sure to keep things interesting.