Why sunglasses at the beginning? It is 34 C degrees in Poland at the moment. Really hot – so sunny kisses for those of you – who have milder weather conditions:)
Reason No 2 – it will be my last post before well deserved holidays (you can be jealous). Some major changes are coming just after the holidays, but let’s keep it in secret for now;)
Why Scrum again?
After my previous post I was asked if I had an example of nicely done retrospective meetings. Can I recommend some approaches?
I decided to leave theory and books aside for today and focus on practice. This is a unique opportunity of real-life project retrospective memoirs.
Step one – Communication
There is no Scrum, no Agile, no retrospective when people don’t talk. How to obtain it when not working at one spot? The other day I’ve heard of great approach “Pretend you are all remote”, even if some of you is sitting next to each other.
What’s the benefit? We are all at the same page. We are able to talk with the whole team and at the same time, no one is excluded from important sessions or decisions. From tester’s point of view it is highly valuable.
My experiences with remote work and remote retrospective meetings used to be bad, very bad, actually. When people were sitting in two or more locations – the knowledge, skills and social life were divided as well. Retrospectives were rather rare and ALSO divided. People gathered in some conference rooms, were not able to hear well, some of them were excluded. Do you have such experiences as well?
The change has come.
I had a chance to work in a scrum project once. The real scrum project – with a scrum master, great mindsets and whole bunch of good Agile treats 🙂
It was not a long-term, but definitely outstanding one.
We were located in three cities, but it was not important. Development team was at the same page all the time. However, great communication and demanding tasks were not the only features that make me think of this project as of the good one – retrospective made it remarkable.
What was so unique? Does remote retrospective really work? Sure it does! All you need is approach, sense of humor and the purpose.
Nah, not that kind of meeting 🙂
I’m rather talking about such level of curiosity :
First of all, meetings were recurrent – same day, same time each sprint.
As I wrote before, the need of ritual is essential when talking about retrospective. Next – it was fun!
The scrum master took us by surprise each time. He provided awesome and delicious boards (online boards, of course), on which EACH OF US were welcome to “stick” their notes.
It was virtual – but it worked perfectly well. Going this direction, we had:
doughnuts retrospective, candy retrospective, pink fairy retrospective and so on…
Some of us complained that it is not “serious”, “somebody bought Creative Retrospectives book” or so. We played each time a bit like kids, but at the end of the day everyone benefit from it.
I also would like to highlight, that the funny form and elements of joy were not that important as the method, that made everyone speak and look for both:
- fields for improvements
- good things to honor.
How were we able to obtain that? By ‘talking’ or ‘thinking’ for somebody else. What do I mean by that?
Let’s try to rephrase a standard question:
What you are particularly proud of after this sprint?
What was not correct in this sprint?
What a person, who sits on your right thinks about it?
What he is proud of?
What did he achieved?
What was his blocker?
This little magic trick enables your mind to completely different behavior. It helps you to become a team, to acknowledge someone else’s needs and before the next meeting – you’ll ask first:)
As i said, each time we had surprise. Games were different, surrounding was different, but eventually it made a team – and this is all about in Agile, isn’t it?
Catch me on Twitter, I’ll keep you posted (and make you angry) from sunny beach 🙂 Cheers!