The secret to successful retrospective meetings

The secret to successful retrospective meetings

Having agile retrospective meetings is one of the most valuable processes any Scrum team should follow.
It is a valuable tool to improve teamwork, celebrate achievements, and guarantee better workflow in future sprints. A sprint retrospective is the ultimate solution for you to ensure an effective; productive meeting that will lead to better performance.
But what does it mean? How can one make sure you get the most out of your team retrospective meeting?  

Tips to make your sprint retrospective meeting SHINE!

Start with sprint reviews

Once completing your sprint, one of the most valuable things you can do is to discuss the process of what was done (and how). This discussion should be done with your Scrum team members as well as the stakeholders of the specific project.
To guarantee a productive sprint review, Scrum masters should use some key questions such as:
1. Did we manage to complete all the tasks we had or were they too much to handle?

2. Did we use the right estimation?
3. What should we do differently in our next sprint?

One of the most important things to follow here is maintaining a safe environment. If you want every team member to feel comfortable sharing his / her insights and thoughts – each of these team members have to feel safe, and that means that no matter what they say – the Scrum master and the other team members will respect that.

Follow a constructive retrospective agenda

Having a constructive retrospective agenda means that you have an idea of what you want this retro meeting to include; yet you are not limiting yourself and your team to this idea; meaning you allow freedom and adjustments, following team feedback and shared insights.

A good agenda is a limited time to 30 minutes divided into 5 sessions: setting the stage (5 minutes), gathering all the relevant data from the last sprint (10 minutes), brainstorming for new ideas (5 minutes), choosing the most suitable solution (5 minutes) and summarizing with conclusions combined with action items.

Automate your retro meetings

Retrospective meetings don’t have to be dogmatic; yet if you find yourself out of fresh ideas and afraid of another dull meeting where everyone is holding themselves not to fall asleep; there are plenty of retro boards created by others you can use.

There are plenty of books about retrospective meetings as well as online tools that suggest retrospective templates, some are free and some are paid.
Among the long list of formats and custom retrospectives, you may find “what went well and what didn’t”; the sad-mad-glad retro board, the sailboat, starfish, 4Ls, lean coffee; and even one format based on the children’s story of 3 little piggies.

Use fun retrospective games

Fun retrospective games are amusing activities that help break the ice between the team members; encouraging them to be more open and collaborative.
One of the most common retrospective activities is the “truths and a lie” game where each team member writes down 3 sentences in regards to the last sprint, 2 of them are truth and the third is a lie. Then each member, on his turn; reads the sentences while the other team members need to guess which is the lie.

No matter which retrospective you choose, having fun and being productive are guaranteed following the above tips and recommendations.

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