The new year has just started and it’s time for the next steps to rile your team mates. So let’s have a look at one of the activities in Scrum that can be easily sabotaged: the retrospective. Here are 10 proofed ways to wreck any retrospective:
Keep the retrospective as short as possible. No need to invest too much time in this meaningless gathering.
Only focus on negative events and ignore any positive things. This is the only valid path to improvement.
Handle a retrospective as any other meeting. Sit around a table and just talk.
Ignore the complexity of the system around you. There is always a cause and effect.
Last week I talked at the ALE Bathtub conference about the evolution of retrospectives. Fortunately, the talk was taped so that I can share it with you. I hope you’ll like it. I’m already looking forward to your comments.
Last week I talked about “Spicing up you retrospective” at the ALE2012. I did a similar talk in June at the ACE!Conference in Krakow. But after the talk in Krakow I had a chat with Bob Marshall and he pointed out that fun isn’t the (only) answer to make retrospectives better. He also pointed me to a blog post were he wrote about these issues. So, the following article is mainly based on his ideas.
For me, there are two main retrospective challenges:
Create a motivating environment and keep the people them engaged
It’s about time for a new list. Today, I decided to write a list on how to mess up your retrospective. There are a lot of possibilities to do this and the following tips will help you doing so 😉
1 – don’t prepare anything
As the retrospective is the simplest and least important meeting of all Scrum meetings, it doesn’t need any preparation. Just come together and start. Wait, where are the pens and the post-its? Forget about it! Just sit together and chat a bit.
2 – Start immediately
As there is no need to set the stage, start immediately with gathering data. Immediately start the retrospective with asking the two questions: “What went wrong?” and “What went well”. That should be sufficient to get great results.