Agile– retrospectives

Retrospectives after a sprint can be fun, challenging and at times trying. It is not a finger pointing session but a chance to reflect on what was good or bad about the last sprint. All team members should participate if they aren’t this would be the first issue to address. One way to get participation is by having one member start by sharing a good experience.The group then takes turn discussing this experience. Often other good and bad experiences come from that discussion. During the discussion a ball can be used to toss to the person that is talking. The ball becomes the signal that a member is talking and should not be interrupted. When the member is done they toss the ball to another member. This keeps the session moving, gives everyone a chance to talk and it can be fun. All good and bad items should be put on a white board. Each bad experience should have a plan to resolve. This is not to say that every bad experience can be resolved in the next Sprint, it may take a few Sprints. One bad experience teams encounter is getting the business involved and/or getting the business to address User Story questions in a timely manner. If you read Lisa Crispin’s articleExperimenting” she gives a great example of how her team addressed a bad experience using faces to rate User Stories. A happy face given to User Stories that were documented well and the team was able to assign to a Sprint. A sad face was given to User Stores that were badly documented and/or waiting on the business for information. The User Story face rating was shared with the business and it was known going into a Sprint the business information needed and that if it was not obtained the Story would not be done. Read the article it is very interesting.

I think we should add to the Product Back Log work item a field that can be used for face rating. It can be done! 

Testa, ALM MVP