How long has been since you and your colleagues sat together to share your thoughts about the team spirit and performance? Do you feel safe to express your feelings and your opinion? Do you like to be part of that team? If you can’t remember such a meeting like this one and if you answered “no” to the questions, you are welcomed to get to know the power of a team retrospective!
A retrospective is part of a set of recommendations that Scrum methodology advocates for building agile teams. Later, we will cover the Agile topic, but today let’s focus on this amazing kind of meeting that helps to strengthen the team bonds and, even better, promotes trust among the group. When a Retrospective is made at the end of a project delivery cycle (known as sprint), it is also a way to help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team, in order to improve the performance for the next round.
I was introduced to the retrospective some months ago, when I was reporting the great results that a team achieved by using certain Agile tools, including retrospectives. At the meeting room, there was a whiteboard, divided into three rows with three different emojis: glad, sad and mad.
Each individual was writing something in post-its and pasting them on the respective row. That was all I could see because this was a private moment for the team. They were sharing sensitive thoughts that wouldn’t make sense for an outsider to hear. On that time, I was curious about this sense of group that they shared. It’s an exaggeration, but it looked like a brotherhood.
One day, this curiosity was nourished when I was invited to participate in a Retrospective. Just like I thought, it is a private meeting. It’s a reflection moment about cooperation, ups, and downs, feelings, preferences, difficulties… it’s a great learning moment to be committed and involved as a team member.
There are many different kinds of Retrospectives. The infographic bellow represents a basic structure that you could use, but it’s important to understand that this tool should be adapted according to the team needs and goals.
Do you have any experience with Retrospectives that you would like to share? You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you never tried, here it goes the challenge: pick up your mug and invite your colleagues to bring theirs and start to make your own Retrospective. You’ll love it!