How to stop the fayl and start carrying out normal retrospectives

What is the point in these retrospectives?

Very often, beginners and not-so-scram masters complain that their retrospectives lack a spark. The procedure turns into a routine, now and then there are calls to "cancel" and the statements "I already know what to do, let's just go to work." The team is saddened by senseless formalism. Scrum master feels unnecessary and falls into an existential crisis.

Having read the advice of the Agile-guru, he becomes even more depressed by their vagueness and vagueness - “be creative”, “prepare yourself more carefully”, etc., etc.
Meanwhile, carrying out retrospectives, their format and content become obvious, if you have an understanding of why you are doing this, and what is the main point of the work of the scrum master.

It's simple.

The meaning of the work scrum master (or Agile-coach) in the creation and development of an effective team. And the main quality of the developed team should be self-organization.
As a matter of fact, as a scrum master you need to know two things to conduct successful retrospectives:

A. The main goal of the Scrum Master: the formation and development of an effective team through its self-organization.

B. Agile - translated into Russian as “flexible” is not just that, but because you can create any Agile tools, artifacts, frameworks and techniques that you consider necessary and relevant for your situation and your tasks. BUT only if you correctly understand the processes of human interaction in groups, and not limited your understanding by reading the Agile Manifesto, which sounds, to put it mildly, vague and one-sided.

What to do?

On the main principles of human interaction, you can read yourself (beginning with the book of Frederic Laloux "Reinventing organizations»), and I go directly to practice or urgent issue, "what exactly do?"

The first thing you need to do - to create an atmosphere of creativity, safety and what is called the English word “fun”. Only in such an atmosphere will team members want to share their thoughts with you and generally participate in self-organization. And the best way to do this is:

Creative retrospective

When you ask an unprepared person in self-improvement questions “What was done wrong?”, “What could we do better?” And “How do we change our work?” You throw a person's mind into a swim over a huge array of data. And the most frequent answer you get will be: “Yes, everything seems to be fine, you just have to work better”.

This is not the answer that a scrum master can work with, so let's turn to the existing tools for developing creativity. In the example below, to create a creative fun-retrospectives, the basis was the reworked principle of “ 6 hats of thinking


The basic idea is that instead of spreading thoughts along the tree, we consistently solve a number of specific problems. And, more precisely, we look at the same problem from different angles. You can name the columns, as in the example in the photo, you can create your own. The main thing is to entice colleagues.

Try it and you will be surprised how many new ideas and interesting insights you learn from your team. Do not forget about the atmosphere: if you have a budget, buy pizzas and colas (brain activity requires carbohydrates), put on unobtrusive relaxing music (something like the one that plays as background in retro 80's porn videos), organize your work space in any convenient way. you are in disarray, as long as it does not look like a regular workshop - you want people to go beyond their usual thinking, so help them. They need to understand that this is a game and there are no stupid questions and answers in it. Let them write the answers on the stickers, hang them up on the posts, after which the scrum master can read all the sentences out loud, discuss, joke, write down all the useful things that you set together to accomplish.

Who is the boss here?

Start with questions about how to arrange life - rearrange the tables, paint the walls in a different color, hang portraits of Elvis Presley!

Start by discussing resources - can you buy a new coffee machine, cool ottomans and a ping-pong table in the office? Will it help them to work? And if so, what can they offer to the customer in return? Increased efficiency? New quality?

The answer to this question can be postponed to the following retrospective. The main thing is to implement decisions on changes in life, routine, organization of the process. Let them feel like a master! Let them see these rapid changes, let them believe that they decide everything here. Believe that they can afford everything! But ... only if they can afford it!

Retrospective goal setting

Now that you have attracted their attention, this is a great moment, for the next type of retrospectives - retrospectives of goal-setting and strategy. The moment to ask, and what, in fact, is the team wants to achieve. What are the goals now facing the team? Let everyone get up and tell how he sees them, whether he agrees with them. Discuss whether everyone thinks these goals are right. If so, what prevents them from achieving? If not, how should they be changed? Discuss, brainstorm, write down decisions, deadlines and responsible ones. Voila! Now you can spend ...

Focal retrospective

When the goals are clear, and all of them share, the obstacles are determined, the steps are outlined, you finally move on to the real value creation - working together on team issues. And in this situation, the questions “What could we have done better during the sprint?”, “What prevented it?” And “What needs to be done differently?” Will sound completely different. You will receive team attention, motivation and self-organization. And after that you will only have to step into the shadows, like the gray cardinal, and only wisely facilitate and direct the team to its development and your overall success.

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