Here’s how to get more positive results from your retro meetings, and build a stronger team while you’re at it.
What’s a retro supposed to look like?
When retros implode
8 tips for better retrospectives
- Amplify the good! Instead of focusing on what didn’t work well, why not begin the retro by having everyone mention one positive item first?
- Don’t jump to a solution. Thinking about a problem deeply instead of trying to solve it right away might be a better option.
- If the retrospective doesn’t make you feel excited about an experiment, maybe you shouldn’t try it in the next iteration.
- If you’re not analyzing how to improve, (5 Whys, force-field analysis, impact mapping, or fish-boning), you might be jumping to solutions too quickly.
- Vary your methods. If every time you do a retrospective you ask, “What worked, what didn’t work?” and then vote on the top item from either column, your team will quickly get bored. Retromat is a great free retrospective tool to help vary your methods.
- End each retrospective by asking for feedback on the retro itself. This might seem a bit meta, but it works: Continually improving the retrospective is recursively improving as a team.
- Remove the impediments. Ask how you are enabling the team’s search for improvement, and be prepared to act on any feedback.
- There are no “iteration police.” Take breaks as needed. Deriving hypotheses from analysis and coming up with experiments involves creativity, and it can be taxing. Every once in a while, go out as a team and enjoy a nice retrospective lunch.
Author = Catherine Louis
Retromat is a great free retrospective tool to help vary your methods.