How going Retro will improve your team and how there are no new ideas, only good ones

Lets get Retro

One of the key facets of Agile is the concept of a retrospective, a regular structured session where a delivery team will discuss what is going well and not so well in their current projects and make plans to adjust them for the better. It’s a simple concept, but as a manager or lead, an extremely powerful tool to drive continuous improvement in your teams without really trying, as the suggestions and priorities come from the people actually doing the work.

Here is a brief guide to running a retro, there are others online.

  • Run retros regularly and obsessively, continual improvement is the name of the game here
  • Once a month is about right as it gives enough time for any outputs to be actioned and evaluated

How to do it

  • Draw a star on a white board with five sections
  • Label each section: Start, Stop, Keep, More, Less
  • In a set period of time (5 minutes) have everyone write their issues and suggestions on post-its to fit in one of the sections
  • After the time is up, each person takes a turn to stick their comments in the right section on the board and if necessary give a brief explaination about what they have said
  • When everyone has gone, the facilitator should then try to group any suggestions that are making the same point
  • Now it’s time to vote, each person gets 7 votes, and no more than 3 on one item, for the items that they think are the most important
  • When the votes are cast, the items are ranked and the team then spends the rest of the session discussing the top 3 points and agreeing what actions should be taken
  • It’s important to restrict the actions on the top 3 or 5 items as it gives the best chance to implement a change, producing a long list of actions doesn’t benefit anyone

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Jay Ramsay

Jay Ramsay

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A T-Shaped technology, data and commercial leader, with strong product experience and a track record of delivering quality products wherever I go