The basics: retrospectives
What is an agile retrospective?
Agile retrospectives (retro for short) are regular, small team workshops. They offer teams the opportunity to reflect on current events and behaviors in short, iterative cycles - usually every 2 weeks.
In essence, a retro answers the following 3 questions: What has worked well in the past few weeks? What didn't work out so well? What will we do differently from now on - and how?
What is an agile retrospective Not?
A retrospective with Echometer is:
... no nonsense meeting: If no concrete wishes for action items are found or nobody is interested in them, then retros are a waste of time.
... no blame game: Retros are not there to shift responsibility or blame others for negative events or developments. Let everybody be part of the solution!
... no employee survey: A retro with Echometer has nothing to do with huge questionnaire packages, meaningless results or a “complaint box”. Retros are close to the action, short, effective - and above all: for you! The goal is that you can slow down and reflect on everyday work for a moment - in the end, what counts is that you benefit from it.
Why have retrospectives at all?
Probably the most decisive factor that illustrates the current relevance of retrospectives is the change in our VUCA world. But how do you manage to overcome the challenges this poses for companies as a team, and help shape the change instead of always having to react to it? The retrospective builds on this task precisely by providing a basis for ...
- ... self-reflection within your team, both in terms of positive and negative aspects
- … active involvement and equally valued opinions of all team members
- ... an initiation of mutually generated and accepted ideas for improvement.
Through questions that require frankness in retros and monitoring of the measures, the goal of improved cooperation can be achieved effectively in the long term.
Who are retrospectives for?
Retrospectives are suitable for any team that wants to continuously improve. Even if retrospectives are often carried out in connection with agile working frameworks, they can also be done completely independently.
Experience shows that optimal (but not required) prerequisites for good team retros are:
- A familiar atmosphere: Team members know each other and have regular contact with each other at work, or joint projects on which they are working.
- An existing feedback culture in the team: A basis for being able to address critical issues within the team.
- A Growth Mindset: Each tam member is willing to development themselves, and support other team members with their feedback in their continued development.
Who takes part in a retrospective?
How does a retrospective with Echometer work?
The process roughly looks like this:
- Data gathering → Anonymous feedback in advance of the retro on the basis of items (i.e. behavioral anchors) that were selected individually for the team (typically by the moderator)
- Check-in the retro → Get together, create an open atmosphere and reflect on the results of the feedback in the online workshop (mixed with offline exercises where applicable)
- Generate insights → What is (not) going well? Which patterns do you notice?
- Decide on measures → What specific steps can we as a team use to make small improvements that, at best, can be implemented until the team's next retro?
- finish the retro → Mutually appreciate participation and initiate the measures that have been decided on