Scrum happens in a Retrospective

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Scrum
Tags: ,

agile-manifestI recently did a De Bono exercise on retrospectives. First, because I needed to practice; second, because Retrospectives and keeping teams engaged is currently an ongoing challenge for me. I won’t bore you with the detail, but one of the ideas that popped up was “Scrum happens in the Retrospective”. At face value, that may seem a silly statement or idea. But the more I mulled it over, the more I could see how that idea was more true than false.

First, let’s consider the Scrum process/ceremonies. You have planning (decide on the what and the how), a review (to evaluate what has happened, progress, and the future of the product/project), and a retrospective (how can we do it better). This ties in pretty neatly with a retrospective: set the stage (review), gather data (review), generate insights (planning), decide what to do (planning), close (retrospective).

Second, the team. Scrum requires a cross-functional team. A good retrospective needs a cross-functional team too. You need thinkers. You need do-ers. You need facilitators. You need scribes. You need those more comfortable with facts and stats. You need those more comfortable with people and relationships.

Finally, the values. Retrospectives value:
– Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
– Working teams over comprehensive documentation
– Collaboration over job descriptions
– Responding to change (learning) over following a plan

What other parallels can you draw?

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