Agile Notes (No. 10!)

Every Friday, I send out an email highlighting a concept relating to Agile/Scrum/Continuous Improvement. Lets get to it….

We are continuing with some notes from The ART of Avoiding a Train Wreck by Em Campbell-Pretty and Adrienne L. Wilson. ART is short for Agile Release Train and is a concept from Scaled Agile. Only one more Note from ART after this one! (I’m a little sad because one thing these Notes have highlighted for me is that ART is an EXCELLENT resource.)

I implemented some of this suggestion almost immediately with my Scrum Team. We use Jira to track our work. Jira is integrated with Confluence (a wiki app). When you close a sprint in Jira, it asks if you want to start a Retrospective in the wiki. Which is a really nice touch. Jira puts their own spin on the 3 Questions. Jira asks:

  • What should we KEEP doing?

  • What should we START doing?

  • What should we STOP doing?

I like that approach and it works well for us. To these 3 questions, we added Learned/Discovered. As in, What did we LEARN or DISCOVER in this Sprint? As I look back over our last several Retrospectives, this question is where we spend the most time. The team members ALL usually get something down for this area. Which is what we are after!

As a footnote, I’ve never really time boxed the Retrospective. I have found it best to let it happen organically. Usually, all it takes is one person to “get on the board” in one topic areas. Then it all comes pouring out. :) Sometimes…..very rarely…..we get a little off track and I have to gently shepherd us back to the goal. Gently. Let them share as a team. Let them discuss. Let them debate. Let them BOND as a team. Let them GROW.

I could probably do a whole series on checking your ego at the door. I could argue that this is the number one skill set needed by a Scrum Master. It is NEVER about me. It is ALWAYS about the Team.

Thanks for reading. Please, leave a comment. Let us know any good ideas you have implemented in your Retrospectives.

And, if you think about it, maybe forward this on to someone you know. Retrospectives aren’t just for Scrums and Sprints. Why not use this to check in with your team?

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