Happy Day Retrospective

Posted: June 9, 2014 in Scrum
Tags: , ,

Team StrengthsRecently, one of my teams did really, really well. They’re a relatively new team – to each other and to Scrum – and in their last sprint they not only met their commitment and sprint goal, but were able to complete an extra 20% in story points. As a result, I decided it was time to try out a “Strengths-Based Retrospective”, which is one of the exercises in a really good book called “Getting Value Out of Agile Retrospectives“.

In a nutshell:

  1. We started the meeting with cake to celebrate the team’s achievement.
  2. The team wrote up and shared their sprint highlights and team member ‘shout outs’. Team members received a small chocolate for every shout-out received.
  3. We reflected on what we thought helped us achieve the sprint highlights. What did we do? Who or what helped us? What skills/abilities/habits made a difference?
  4. We grouped this list into team strengths.
  5. We identified some problems/hurdles from the past and/or that we could potentially foresee in the future. Once we had these up on the board, I asked the team to write down next to each problem which strengths they felt would help mitigate that problem. It was heartening to see that the team were inadvertently tackling many of these issues through the positive strengths/behaviours we had already identified.
  6.  We reviewed the problems but there were none that required immediate action or focus, so we ended the sprint there. I documented the strengths into a picture (see the caption for this post) which I then distributed to the team.

I received good feedback from the Product Owner on this retrospective and the positive behaviours the team is demonstrating. Sometimes it is good to sit back and reflect on what we’re all doing well. Always remember to celebrate your successes!

What techniques have you found useful for uncovering hidden strengths within your team?

  1. benlinders says:

    I love it how you use the Strength-based Retrospective from our book to recognize the strengths in your team. Although there weren’t any immediate actions I’m conviced that as teammembers are now aware of individual and team strengths they will use them when there’s an opportunity in th future!

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