5 minutes retrospective

Looking for a way to give your team a kick start at the retrospective meeting? Try having a 5 minutes retrospective – I’ll tell you how…

  1. Invite your team for the usual time slot allocated for the sprint retrospective meeting
  2. Prepare the meeting room by hanging up a poster with 3 captions: “Best task”, “Most positive experience” and “What could be better”
  3. Let the team spend 60 seconds on, instantly, creating a post-it for each of the three captions
  4. Let each team member present the three post-its in one sentence and place it under the appropriate caption. Group where applicable.
  5. Rank the post-its by letting each team member draw a dot on the post-it they like the most/think is most important – they are allowed to draw a total of two dots. Time box the ranking to 60 seconds.
  6. Spend the remaining time on assigning responsible team members to the 3 post-its.
  7. Have cake or beer!

Why should you do this? I often hear scrum masters and team members complaining that they are stuck in a standard way of conducting the retrospectives. To radically change the mindset, one could introduce the 5 minutes retrospective as an alternative.

The output of such blitz events is surprisingly good as everyone unloads whatever they have at top of mind without thinking strategic or political.