Retrospective Activities to Improve Team Feedback

After attending Agile Brazil 2012 I was so excited to see that there’s a growing agile community in this country.

There I had the opportunity to listen and talk to some very experienced agile practitioners (and even play a game with James Shore!), which made me come back with a plentiful of ideas.

On my first week back, me and a Scrum Master where I work debated on ways to improve our retrospectives, so we took some activities proposed by Paulo Caroli we thought would easily be accepted by our team.

Firstly, we used happiness radar where we asked people to share their feelings on people, process, and technology. Then in the next activity we narrowed down the discussion to the most relevant aspects determined by the previous activity, trying to answer the question “what will increase happiness?” within the following groups: keep, more of, less of/stop.

It was really rewarding to see a completely different dynamic happening there, with full team interaction instead of our previous (too formal) ceremony. Some aspects, which are real pain points that affect our daily work, were never discussed before.

We still struggle to make the team realize the process is there merely to support our work, that the quality and success of a project depend on their effort and dedication and the importance of things like effective communication, transparency, and sense of ownership.

I think these new activities will shake thinks a little and our team will soon be instrumental to our continuous improvement efforts.

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