DAKI – Agile Retrospectives Exercise

We are pleased to have Mario Lucero as our guest blogger. Mario is an Agile Coach and Scrum Trainer based in Santiago (Chile), who helps organizations deliver high quality software with predictability and happiness. Learn more about Mario here.

Mario shares with us an exercise called DAKI. He says this exercise brings him very good results in his retrospectives.

What DAKI-Agile Retrospectives Exercise Mean

D for Drop: What do team members want to drop (or remove) that bothers you? For instance, a Scrum team wants to remove weekly meeting with his manager, because he was doing a micromanaging.

A for Add: What are team members interested in to improve the process? For instance, a Big Screen to check the code in pre-production environment. Or weekly breakfast to share a good moment with the team.

 K for Keep: What do team members like that they want to keep it? An example could be that a team decides to announce the beginning of each Stand up meeting with a different song chosen by each team member.

 I for Improve: What do team members want to improve? A good example is as following: A team decides to reduce the technical debt from a legacy code because they don’t like to fix bugs all day long. Therefore, they propose to have twenty per cent of each Sprint Backlog dedicated to refactor the code that was affected in their user stories.

What you can expect to get out of this exercise?

You can expect a good feedback from the Scrum team about the process and issues that they have faced.

When would you use this exercise?

This exercise is good to use after several sprints working with the same team members. Why? Because the idea is to use Scrum for a while in order to grow up as a team so they are able to propose some changes to the process.

How to do it?

Before doing a retrospective you should draw 4 cells on the paper with the acronym of DAKI.

Duration: 30min

Introduction: Take 5 minutes to explain what is the mechanism behind the exercise using examples that have not happened in the company (just to avoid bad feelings).

Request ideas for Drop (five minutes), Add (five minutes), Keep (five minutes) and Improve (5 or 10 minutes).

You can take advantage of the ideas proposed as Improve to consider them as “Action items” to follow up or transform the ideas posted in “Improve” into Action items.

See example below:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 2.01.31 PM

Action Items (from the example above):

According to the idea of “user stories have to be simpler”, the Scrum Master must help the Product Owner to check the dependencies of each user story into the Sprint Backlog.

Scrum Master schedule a meeting with the manager (who still works in a command and control mode) and the team to explain they don’t need a weekly meeting. If he wants to know the progress of the Sprint, the manager should check the physical board.

If you have any questions related to this exercise, feel free to reach Mario at Twitter @metlucero.

In case you are interested in Agile Retrospectives we are at the moment preparing a 10 DAYS FREE AGILE RETROSPECTIVES PROGRAM. This is a complete self-study program where you will learn anything that you need to become a great Agile Retrospectives facilitator.

If you are interested in sharing your Agile Retrospective exercise with us on the format of Guest Blogging please contact us: info@oikosofy.com.

Picture Credits to: Mario Lucero & Jez Nicholson