Recently the world has approached the first “anniversary” of life with the Covid-19 virus, and it seems that this time has flown by quickly and unnoticed. Working from home has already become habitual, we’ve got used to all the inconveniences, and the thought came to us: did our team manage to learn interesting lessons from the past few months?
Sprint Retrospective after each iteration usually focuses on the details of the past two weeks but how do you measure the impact of the past 7 months? We decided that we could definitely allocate several hours for such a discussion and that's what we came up with to make this meeting effective and healthy.
Remote retrospective activities
As the eternal initiator of any chatter, the Scrum Master made a plan. The Agile retrospective consisted of 3 exercises:
- "Elephant in the Room" or "Calm Moon"?
- Happy (Proud of) / Learnt / Upset
- My remote in 3 words
All exercises were implemented using templates in Timbo (online retrospective tool).
Each team member had the opportunity to talk about their work on remote by answering 3 questions:
- What changes in the life of the team (and in their own) made them happy
- What have been learned during the quarantine
- What things turned out to be upsetting
After that, everyone could summarize their story with code words:
“Elephant in the room” means that there are unresolved problems that greatly interfere with work (this was a trigger to start discussing the issues), or “Quiet moon” — there are no major complaints or concerns.
Insights of our Scrum Retrospective
The exposure of our remote life secrets was full of sincerity. Some stories were a little bit sad, but mostly we laughed and saw how pleased everyone felt about sharing their little victories. After that we gave each other 5 minutes to think about 3 words that everyone would associate with the months spent at home. It turned out very encouraging and revealing!
Such a meeting helped us to raise the deep problems that bother the team members. It helped us to be therapists for each other because we spoke, listened and realized we are not alone in our experiences, concerns and ideas. Speaking up and being heard is a big step away from the decadent mood but closer to a healthy team.
We definitely recommend doing this Agile retrospective in every team. In fact, you can take any other exercises — the main thing is to speak up and listen!
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