Retro Rules of Engagement
While project teams are likely to structure their work like 2-week sprints, you`re more likely to have a Kanban-like continuous work style. Do your retrospectives monthly or quarterly, depending on the needs of your team. When you make decisions as a team, you are also responsible for getting things done as a team. Team members decide who does what and later check the progress of the next retro. Nothing undermines the retrospective process like doing nothing with the results of the retrospective. Instead, find ways to celebrate small victories and bring more positivity to your retrospective meeting. I like to put it at both ends: starting with what went well, then with a round of thanks, where team members take turns in the hot seat and others voluntarily do what they appreciate in the individual`s contributions (“They really served the group if” and I`d like to see more). Even if you work on it to prepare a big retrospective, the team remains bored, extremely demotivated, and there is only a low-level commitment, which prevents you from making the retrospective useful. You`ve worked hard to improve your facilitation skills.
They tried many different activities and techniques to keep the retrospective fresh and interesting. And yet, turnout is still low. What should a moderator do? To give everyone an equal chance to influence the direction for the retrospective, consider using a bottom-up prioritization technique. Make sure the team can share their findings in a secure environment. If the team doesn`t feel safe, retrospective is useless. And don`t just set up a meeting because Agile says so! When teams retrospective simply because agile guidelines suggest so, participants may feel distracted or disinterested. The understanding that retrospectives give teams the opportunity to solve problems must come from within. Chances are you`ll be working together on a project for at least a few months, so it`s a good idea to invest time in team building during the retrospective. Or, if you prefer something less formal, just grab a coffee or lunch with each person on your team and casually respond that you`ve noticed a low level of engagement in your retrospectives lately and wonder what you could do to improve. It is important to share topics and next steps immediately after the retrospective and actively use them in future sprints to promote positive actions and processes. There is no point in holding retrospectives if the result does not lead to a change in the way you work, even if it is a minor change.
People will start to participate more in your retrospectives when they feel that retrospectives help them. If they help everyone work better together. When they help them become more productive. Honestly, if they have a positive effect! I can`t tell you how many times I talk to people who say the #1 problem they face with their retrospectives is that they don`t really lead to change. The retro itself “looked good”, but there was no follow-up! Nothing is better. Agile software teams have popularized retrospective meetings, but they are ideal for all teams. Here`s how to perform basic retrospectives and tailor them to your team. Don`t miss the practice retrospective notes in Step 4! This not only helps us conduct better retrospectives, but also increases the confidence that team members generally feel. 9.
Lack of psychological safety If employees on your team don`t feel safe 😨, they probably won`t speak openly and transparently. If the “real problems” are not discussed, people may think that retrospectives do not help. But why stop at meetings? Feedback is about continuous improvement and is more useful when the team is used to thinking retrospectively all the time. So they made some small improvements with 15% Solutions and the team invested more in the retrospective process. Congratulations!! 🎉 Don`t be fooled by small victories – you`ve done something BIG! 🙌 One thing you can try is to let others facilitate retro for you. It hurts, I know. It may seem that retrospective moderation is part of your professional responsibility. But that`s really not the case. If you`re a Scrum Master, your job is to help the team succeed as a servant leader. If that means letting someone else run the retro, then great! No problem.
First, create opportunities for anonymous participation. One way to do this is to invite the team at the beginning of the sprint to add ideas for the next retrospective in a “parking lot”. You can do this with physical sticky notes (although handwriting can allow you to identify the source of each idea) or with a digital tool that allows for anonymous feedback (for example, brainstorming at Retrium is completely anonymous, so your team can be 100% sure that their ideas will never be linked to them). If engagement in your retrospectives is low and you don`t know what to do about it, the simplest thing you can do is. Just ask why! Based on James` experience with retrospectives that included activities versus those that took a more “evidence-based” approach, he finds the former approach much more effective than the latter. He notes that the activities engage people and help break down communication barriers. Here`s the thing: retrospectives are designed to do just that ☝! Only, instead of a ghost 🧞snapping fingers and making wishes come true, your team has to do the hard work of solving problems themselves. Speaking of having fun together, it is quite possible to have fun even during the retrospective! If you do the same kind of retrospective over and over again, it can get boring. The teams that “abandoned retrospectives” abandoned the retrospectives you`ve tried so far. How do I know? As a project manager or Scrum Master leading the meeting, it is important to prepare in advance and prepare an agenda for the meeting.
In addition, there are a lot of good ideas on how to organize a retro session on the web. As a project manager, I really wanted to introduce all these changes in my teams and boost performance. However, what I struggled to understand was the concept of “retrospective.” I mean, what was the point? Shouldn`t we have focused on getting projects done instead of wasting our time on more meetings? 2. Anti-agile or anti-Scrum settings 😩If you`ve been burned by Agile or Scrum in the past, you might find baggage against retrospectives. Meetings are held in the conference rooms, right? Not necessarily! Sometimes changing where you conduct your retrospectives can help foster engagement and creativity. Before figuring out how to increase engagement in our retrospectives, it`s important to ask why there`s low engagement in the first place. At the end of your next retrospective during the Close The Retro phase, ask the team, “What can I do to make the retrospective more relevant to you?” This variant works best in longer retrospectives (45 – 60 min), where you can devote five minutes or more to each question. If you find people checking their phones during the retrospective, is that a problem? Who knows! Without ground rules, how do you know that behaviour is acceptable and what is not? You can turn ideas from your retro into Trello cards in three simple steps: Most of us have experienced some pretty horrible retrospectives. Retrospectives in which the team discusses the same topics over and over again. Retrospectives in which the moderator uses exactly the same moderation activity over and over again. (“What went right, what didn`t go well” or “Start Stop Continue” anyone?).
It turns out that there are many reasons why people don`t participate in retrospectives. It`s no different with retrospectives. Break down larger goals into small, achievable action items that you`re sure you can achieve. (Don`t forget to be SMART!) That`s why my retrospectives are really poor right now. Almost no commitment. We tried the Stop, Start, Continue and Mad, Sad, Glaed approaches. We tried an online board in our agile tool where the team can place discussion ideas before the next retro meeting. But nothing seems to be working.
We had a discussion topic that 2 out of 8 developers talked about for 5 minutes, and after the actions were decided, it was an awkward silence while I asked if there was anything else anyone wanted to discuss. To use Team Radar, ask everyone to rate the team`s performance on different aspects of their work. You could ask for advice on engineering practices, culture, company values, or other important things. Once you have collected the responses, calculate the average score for each ray. If you find that a topic has a particularly low rating, you should focus the rest of the retrospective on that exact topic! I still remember the day I organized my first retro, I was a little nervous. I started retro by explaining what retro is. From time to time, I start the retro session by repeating what a retro is. This is a closed-door meeting with only the PO, SM and the development team. A place where no one is judged, where ideas are promoted, where it is normal to be vulnerable and make mistakes, without blame when there are bad practices, how can we improve? Focus on solutions to problems. It`s a great framework for retrospective action, but there are some areas that need attention: Some companies hold retrospectives at the end of a single sprint or after a few iterations.