The Black Hole of Retros

Forgetfulness is normal. Especially for us aging folk, alongside the body and brain! Perhaps you walk into a room, look at the cat blankly and walk out? Go downstairs, put on your shoes and forget where you are heading? Start writing an article on the ‘Black Hole of Retros’, then talk about forgetfulness?

Familiar?

I raise these points because regardless of whether you have 1,2,3 or 4 week deployment schedules there’s a period of time between your Retros that are full of thoughts, actions, time zones, beers, lunges, and other super important stuff.

So what happens? We forget about the even more important stuff, like the discussions, reflections and actions of our Retrospectives.

How about trying this … and it really doesn’t take long, especially if you do it from the go.

SpiderScrum

Artistically draw out your SpiderScrum and a team of spiders … such like mine.

The centre of the SpiderScrum web represents how close the team are to reaching their goal to improve. For example, the closer you are to the centre of the SpiderScrum web then the further you are from improving in that action.

If it’s your first Retro, then capture the reflection areas for improvement here, if not, have a look at past retros with the team at area’s that you want to add to the SpiderScrum web to visually measure the road to improvement.

Lastly then, ask the team at their next Retro to mark with their spider representative where they fall.

Have a brief discussion around the outcome.

Are the team aligned … but no closer to improving? Ask the team how they will hold themselves accountable to each other to start inspect and adapting to reach the goals/targets/actions that they set. Try asking; Why do you think this is the case? What areas could be worth focusing on?

Is there an outlier, perhaps a misunderstanding of goals? Try asking; is there a clear understanding of these actions? Why do you think there is the misalignment?

Are the team completely out of reach from each other? Look at everyone’s understanding of the goal, perhaps there is something else underlying. Try askin; Why do you think that we appear to have this pattern? Are we clear on why we captured this?

It’s important to note that the team should be focused on 1 or 2 key areas per sprint so don’t get overly concerned if not everything is perfect. The main aim of this exercise is to see team improvement over time, and even better if you can show it visually with the ScrumSpider!

Well guys, thanks for reading MaykitBlogs. Next week, we’ll be talking about Agile Lip Service.

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