An agile retrospective is the most important routine for agile teams. However, it can also be used for all teams, even the most traditional.
These examples of agile retrospectives will make it easy for you to set up a team process for continuous improvement, at the end of an iteration, project phase or completed project.
Host an agile retrospective with Beekast
As a reminder, an agile retrospective is a meeting held after every sprint or iteration. It brings all the team members together and gives everyone a chance to express themselves freely in terms of success and problems encountered.
Goal: to engage in a continuous improvement effort.
Whatever your role, (agile coach scrum master, product owner, manager or project manager), Beekast’s interactive and collaborative activities enable you to easily coordinate all the steps of a retrospective, up to the implementation of action plans and workshop report.
Furthermore, thanks to our meeting tool, you can host your agile retrospectives both in person and remotely. Very practical for distributed teams (multi-site or teleworking).
Introduce the different agile retrospective steps
Retrospectives always follow the same chronological steps:
- 1. Break the ice to jump-start discussions
- 2. Gather ideas and information
- 3. Sort and rank information
- 4. Decide as a team
- 5. Wrap up the retrospective
At the beginning of the retrospective, go ahead and remind the team of certain essential rules:
- listen to one another politely
- don’t judge anyone
- don’t look for a scapegoat
It is also important to remind the team of the retrospective’s purpose so that you can achieve that goal by the end of the session.
Finally, appoint a time keeper who will enforce the time limit, and someone to make a note of all the decisions made during the session.
Let’s get started: find out how to engage in a continuous improvement effort and improve teamwork processes.
Phase 1: Icebreaker
Start by setting a relaxed atmosphere and getting a feel for the team’s frame of mind.
Ask about how team members feel to:
- know whether the group is ready to work on its improvement (sometimes it’s wise to postpone the retrospective in order to ensure effectiveness)
- direct activities according to the mood of the group
1. Word cloud ice breaker
2. Selfie wall icebreaker
3. Board icebreaker
Phase 2: Gather ideas and information
This is the most important phase.
Ask your participants to take turns writing down their ideas to gather information. All this saves hundreds of post-its!
During this phase, there’s no judgement or analysis. You’re simply gathering the team’s ideas.
4. Mad / Sad / Glad
The aim of this activity is to gather team feedback using three feelings experienced during the sprint: what made them glad, sad, or mad.
The DAKI (Drop Add Keep Improve) activity enables the team to highlight what it wants to drop, add, keep and improve in the work process.
The Starfish retrospective invites teams to share what worked or didn’t work during the sprint, and what should have been developed to improve future projects. The team discusses and votes on areas for improvement.
Using the boat metaphor, the speedboat agile retrospective helps to identify what moves the project forward and what slows it down.
- The boat represents the project (yes, everyone’s in the same boat)
- The island symbolises the goals to be achieved
- The wind represents the strengths that help move the projects forward
- The anchors and rocks are the constraints and obstacles
→ Find out how to host a speedboat workshop with Beekast
Phase 3: gather information
This involves identifying redundant data patterns, sorting and filtering all ideas produced. Use this phase to set aside ideas that are off-topic.
Beekast makes it easy to gather similar ideas, by sorting information in a group after brainstorming.
Phase 4: decide as a team
This is the time to prioritise areas for improvement and come up with an action plan as a team by using dotmocracy (dot-voting).
In this phase, the facilitator specifies the objective: to identify the highest priority actions to be implemented in the very short term.
To do so, the team selects and votes for the best ideas to be implemented.
Take the first three or four ideas that come out of the voting session and establish a SMART (Specific Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic) action plan with the group.
Then define an action or make a decision for each subject, following the ideas selected.
Phase 5: wrap up the retrospective
Finally, the last phase of the agile retrospective: end on a positive note.
Check that the initial goal has been reached and think of ways to improve future retrospectives!
What if you left your retrospective meeting on a high note?
With this activity, your team members can thank and congratulate one another.
Like the feedback door, ROTI (Return On Time Invested) gives the facilitator a quantitative feedback on the quality of the agile retrospective, with a score out of 5.
10. Key takeaway
What will your team take with them after the meeting?
This activity, to be carried out at the very end of a retrospective, allows the facilitator to know what information was retained by the team.
Qualitative feedback allows them to know what elements captured the team’s attention and whether the meeting objective was really achieved.
Automatic meeting reports
Agile method pros know all too well that reporting on the ideas of a retrospective can take ages (even more so if you use post-its that have to be included one by one).
With Beekast and automatic meeting reports, the reports are generated automatically via a Word document that you can export and send to the entire team.
This document contains all the information that was discussed during the agile retrospective!
It is therefore the starting point for the next retrospective, since the report makes it possible to see whether the actions previously selected were really implemented during the next sprint.
Try Beekast to create dynamic agile retrospectives
Beekast activities can be used remotely or in person to gather your entire team for your agile rituals.
Take the time to look back on the successes and failures encountered by your team so that you can do better next time!
Would you like to use interactive activities from Beekast to foster collective intelligence?