Is Your Team Good at Improvement? Scrum Retrospectives
This is the second post in our Scrum Assessment Series. A continuous improvement culture is the most important thing for a team to establish early.
Where does the team land on the scale below?
- Team does not care about performance
- Team is aware of performance
- Team discusses issues
- Team identifies improvements
- Team takes responsibility for improvements
- Team is allowed slack to make improvements
- Team benefits from improvements
- Team continually seeks improvements
- Improvements are recognized and appreciated by organization
Facilitating effective retrospectives on a frequent cadence is key. We highly recommend the book “Agile Retrospectives” by Esther Derby and Diana Larson to learn good techniques when facilitating your retrospectives.
- Did the whole team attend? Including the Scrum Master and Product Owner?
- Are no managers are present? No stakeholders? (This is a good thing!)
- Is there one after every sprint?
- Is it timeboxed to roughly 1 hour for every sprint week?
- Did the team discuss the facts from the Sprint? Burndown? Release Progress? Key Metrics?
- Are Retrospective action items tracked during the next Sprint for progress?
- Do Retrospectives really lead to improvement?
- Does everyone on the team engage in discussion?
- Were the top issues discussed to reach the root cause?
- Were 1-3 actionable goals set as the top priority?
- Did the team discuss how they were going to ensure a change happens?
- Did the team focus their time on what they can do better?
- Did the team have open and honest communication?
- Were everyone’s ideas listened to?
- Were real issues discussed?
- Do Product Owners and managers allow team slack to deliver improvements?
- Does the team demonstrate the desire to continuously improve?
- Does the team demonstrate the courage to try something radical?
- Do changes lead to significant improvements?
- Was there healthy conflict?
- Were good things discussed? Did the team share appreciations?
- Did the session foster shared team ownership?
- Did the team demonstrate courage in their ideas for improvement?
Ideas for Improvement:
- Mix it up. Try something new. Don’t let the format stagnate the discussion.
- Start with appreciations to foster a culture of respect and trust.
- Encourage the team to be courageous in their ideas.
- Leverage Deep Democracy techniques to get everyone involved.
- Define Team Agreements on how the team is going to handle conflict in a healthy way.
- Don’t just focus on process items, spend time on building team chemistry.
- Start retrospectives with a Prime Directive if ensuring positive thinking and reducing blaming is needed.
View other posts in our Scrum Assessment Series.
Please share some ways you have improved your Retrospectives.
Get a more serious look at how well your teams are learning from their experiments, with our Agile assessment services.