Sep 16, 2009

Retrospectives - Discussion on the day

1) Celebrate team's success (5 mins)

We didn't want to get hung up on improvement opportunities only and ignore what this team of timezone warriors had achieved. So we started with celebrations - looked back at what was accomplished, shared thank you notes and acknowledged that we were proud of what we produced.

2) Share goal for retrospective (3 mins)
We discussed the goal of retrospective discussion and agreed to move ahead.

3) Gather data from team (2 mins)
Done before the discussion

4) Highlight strengths and opportunities from data gathered
(10 mins)

We reflected on team's strengths and opportunities collected from the survey and discussed:
- if there were any surprises
- if there was anything missing to add
- if there was anything incorrect to remove

Team agreed with the strengths and opportunities identified from the survey.

I also highlighted the areas where Business and IT had a disconnect (voted differently).

5) Ask the team to select top 3 opportunities to discuss today (30 mins)

Team members voted (hidden*) to identify top 3 opportunities that would have the biggest impact on the future releases.

* to ensure team members were not influenced by each other

We wasted a lot of time here. Wish I had done more effectively. Perhaps before the discussion? Perhaps another survey for this completely distributed team?

6) Facilitate problem solving session to identify root causes for these opportunities (60 mins)

The team discussed various issues freely to try to identify the root causes. I wish we had more time for this.

7) Brainstorm action plan to avail the opportunities identified

We left this for the new team that was staffed on the project. I've emailed the survey responses and discussion deck to the team to carry the root cause analysis and action planning forward. Looking forward to that discussion.

At the end, I requested team's input to make future retrospectives better thru an anonymous 1-minute survey and indicate if in this session -
- Received value < Time invested
- Received value = Time invested
- Received value > Time invested

They also had a place to leave general comments to improve our retrospectives.

Poor response there :( only 1 so far

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