Do Don't Try

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Retrospectives

Martin Jul writes about a retrospective activity in the post “Retrospectives - Adapting to Reality.” He describes an interesting process for highlighting issues in the Generating Insights part of a retrospective session.

Circles and Soup

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 4 Filed Under: Retrospectives

Sometimes teams get stuck at the point of “deciding what to do” in retrospectives. Team members may begin to point fingers and describe things that the ubiquitous “they” must do before the team can move forward or make improvements,. This may lead to a team-as-victim, “poor us, we’re stuck” syndrome, or blame and finger-pointing. “It’s their fault we’re in this mess!” Blame kills retrospectives and the perception of persecution stalls any hope of forward motion, so the retrospective leader has to shift this conversation, and fast! Team members also may perceive so much room for improvement they become paralyzed and can’t decide where to start improving their lot.

When victim-talk, blaming or overwhelm surfaces, I reach into my retrospective leaders toolbox and pull out a technique to help teams identify the kinds of action the team can take.

Group Mind

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Retrospectives

In the "Generating Insights" phase of a retrospective, the "Group Mind" activity provides a way for teams to discover where their thinking converges and quickly identify common concerns.

The retrospective leader (RL) helps the team form three or four small groups of team members--pairs or triads, depending on the size of the team. Each small group takes no more than eight to ten minutes to brainstorm all the issues (or ideas for action) facing the team and write each one on a separate sticky note. The retrospective leader challenges the sub-groups to go for quantity of issues over quality. Every...