An Energising Retrospective Plan

by Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves

If you have retrospective regularly you will know that they each have a different feel. Some are serious, some are fun, some look far back, some are about other areas and not the team. Occasionally we want to have a retrospective that will leave us energised and super excited to get going on actions. Here is a plan we follow at Growing Agile for an energising retrospective:

Checkin [3 min per person]
We have sticky notes with the following headings: Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Yourself, Be Involved, Be Amazing, Be Accepting. You could make your own or use colours to represent different things.
Each person writes up one statement per sticky note about the past month (or sprint) and then everyone shares what they wrote for each.

Gather Data [15 min]
A variation on the perfection game. We score the month out of 10 (where 10 would be perfect) and each list 3 things  we would have liked to have happened in the last month. Depending how many people are in the retrospective you can reduce the 3 things down, in the next section you don’t want more than 15 in total.

Generate Insights [30 min]
A discussion about the 3 things each person listed, why those would have made the month better. Consider these questions:
“What was lacking and why?”,
“What experiments have we done recently?”,
“What have we done for ourselves recently?”

Decide what to do [30 min]
Look at the list of 3 things each person wrote as missing, and any other data you have on things you’d like to do, maybe an improvement backlog.
Each person picks 1 thing they really want to do next month, and shares it.
Give people an opportunity to give feedback on why you would or would not want to do some of those actions.
Now dot vote to pick the top action.

Once you have a top action, create an action task board by breaking it down into tasks that are small enough they could be done immediately by any one person. This is key to making the action exciting. If you see something you could do straight away you are more likely to get started.

Close [1 min]
Stick up your action task board and get cracking!

This is a guest post by Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves, Agile Coaches at Growing Agile. If you have questions about this exercise, feel free to contact Samantha or Karen on their Twitter@samlaing & @karen_greaves

Picture credits to: Paul Downey

In case you are interested in Agile Retrospectives I am 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.

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