Maximize value of retrospectives

Are you getting enough value from your periodical retrospectives? Are you stuck with the same agenda resulting in the same, ongoing, discussion from meeting to meeting?

Retrospectives are the corner stone of any team adopting the agile mindset on their way to becoming a high performing team. The goal of any retrospective session is to follow Deming’s Wheel (Plan – Do – Check – Act) in order to obtain continuous, incremental, improvements within the boundaries of the team.

In a turbulent daily life there might not be time to handle disputes, change dysfunctional processes, etc. that lead to low performance and uncomforting atmosphere within the team. Scheduling a periodic session, like the retrospectives, will make sure that the team has time scheduled for addressing issues that can be handled within the boundaries of the team.

In order to have a successful retrospectives, it’s important to plan the agenda ahead in order to accommodate any topics that might arise during the meeting. There are many ways to address seasonal topics such as pressure associated with releases, distress following organizational changes, start up of new teams and or projects, etc. The crucial point being that the facilitator must possess the needed knowledge and empathy in order to guide the team members through a successful, value adding, meeting leading to positive changes in the team.

Engaging an Agile Coach for assistance in terms of improving agility has proven very effective. A survey conveyed on having an Agile Coach facilitating teams throughout have been proven to improve the value gained from the retrospectives.

Key figures of survey:
– 83 % of respondents felt that the agreed actions points had high value
– 71 % of respondents felt that the agreed action points were implementable by the team
– 63 % of the respondents felt that the discussions were value adding
– 63 % of the respondents felt that the agreed action points were “the right ones”