Today was a retrospective (retro) day at Industrial. This means we finished a sprint and looked back at it to discuss as a team what worked, what didn't and what we can do to make the next sprint better. This is an exercise that we have done religiously since we adopted Agile methodologies, 18 months ago.
In order to keep things fresh, I try to use new exercises to inspire the team to bring issues forward during a retro. Some of these exercises I take directly from my handy-dandy Agile resources, and some I craft or tweak to make my own. Today's opening retro exercise was taken from http://www.plans-for-retrospectives.com. (I have the printed version of this Retromat, which I love).
The exercise is called "Amazon Review." The nature of this exercise is to get everyone to think about the last sprint as if it were a product or book and have each team member write a short review, including a star rating (5 stars is the best). Overall, I'm happy to report that most people gave our last sprint 4 stars. The reviews generated some interesting discussion topics that we were able to use in other retro exercises.
Here are some of the reviews that came out of our exercise today:
So, that happened...
If you are a fan of hectic drama, you'll love this sprint. Unexpected changes leave everyone a bit rattled, but good news is coming in the next installment. New hair colour for Laura, people quitting, what's next? I recommend this sprint, but it's not for the faint of heart.
Full Steam Ahead
This was great! Very productive, time well spent. Usually when we have such short timelines, it's hard but this sprint worked well. Team members really stepped up to make sure we stayed on track. Only criticism and reason for not giving a 5 star review is poor client responsiveness.
What a team effort!!!
This sprint was all about team effort. The whole group has come together to take on PMing, rise to the challenge, engage with clients, and do amazing work. I'd recommend this team to anyone!
Not the most successful sprint, but some good work got done. Needs focus on moving cards to "Done"; too many WIP at a time. Team pulled together quickly to plan temporary PM roles. Go team!
The level of interaction in the pit seemed high, the coordinated work is better for creative and productivity.
Busy, busy - in a good way
The past sprint was very refreshing, especially in comparison to the sprints leading up to it. There are many new and exciting projects - some with great progress being made. It is a good feeling to be able to work on various projects at the same time, having the opportunity for fresh environments to work in. The only reason I gave it 4/5 stars, is no sprint is perfect. Some room for improvement would be creating more front end cards so that there aren't any generic "implement front-end design" tasks.
Great sprint, learned a lot but went by too fast.
We have a very open and communicative culture here at Industrial and these exercises help to foster that. We get immense value from the outcomes of these retro exercises and I highly recommend you try them in your organization.