Sprint Retrospective Experience – Essentialism

This post is all about the sprint retrospective experience I had using the technique I invented and wrote about last time in “Scrum Retrospective Idea – Essentialism”. I won’t go through the 5 stages again here, so I recommend you give that a read first.

I was more nervous about using this technique than the ones I’ve used previously as this was the first technique I had actually created, as opposed to read about. Previously I’d been using tried and tested methods. Although I felt comfortable with my ability to cope with problems, I had my pride on the line as I really wanted this to be a success!

Result

I’m pleased to say that overall, the technique worked and would happily recommend it to other teams. As with everything, there were positives and negatives but with some further tweaking (see below) I’m confident it could be even better. Importantly, I believe it would work for both struggling and already successful teams as it really focuses on the slowest tasks that can be improved.

Positives

  • The team ended up with a couple of actions that have since been implemented and have lead to positive results.

Negatives

Personal Retrospective

What went well?

  • Focusing on slow tasks that can be improved lead to great actions and resulting improvements;
  • Some painful tasks were highlighted that I never considered before;

What could I have done better?

  • Perhaps limit the groups to their 5 slowest tasks. We had a lot of post-it notes that it was clear we didn’t need.
  • Combine the lists differently. I’m not convinced that was clear until half way through so it either needs more explanation or an example.

What should I not do again?

  • Assume everyone on the team knows what I’m talking about!

Thanks to @GregoryMcKeown for his book, and thanks to my team for letting me try something new.

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