Are you searching for an agile “retrospective kanban”, or in other words, an agile retrospective format for a kanban team? Perfect - you found what you are looking for.
A retrospective focused on agile Kanban teams
To begin with, obviously, even in agile kanban teams you can do the typical agile sprint retrospective formats like the "Keep, Stop, Start", Starfish or Sailboat Retrospective or similar ones
But as you are searching for a kanban retrospective, I guess you are looking to reflect your kanban ways of working specifically. This is the reason why in this kanban retrospective, we will basically do an agile health check of your kanban processes.
The Retrospective Kanban Health Check
This “retrospective kanban” basically gives you a few items, a few health check sentences that you can reflect on in your agile team.
Each of them is a “best practice” behavior or artifact in great agile kanban teams. Typically, every team member anonymously answers the following questions on a scale from 1 (Disagree completely) and 7 (Agree Completely).
Retrospective: Kanban Process
- “Our Kanban board reflects the latest status of all our work.”
- “In our stand-up meetings, we focus to align on important tasks and the efficiency of our work.”
- “Our WIP (work in progress) limits in each stage optimize our flow.”
Retrospective: Kanban planning
- “Our team has a great predictability.”
- “We question the value of tasks and discard them when appropriate.”
- “Work on top of the queue is always up to date and ready to pull.”
- “We're good at dealing with unplanned work.”
Retrospective: Kanban Metrics
- “We inspect our flow metrics to identify room for improvement.”
- “We have suitable metrics and ways to visualize our performance and cumulative flow.”
Retrospective: Kanban Improvements
- “In our team we implement meaningful continuous improvements.”
- “Team members take individual ownership for improvements.”
The anonymous results given to these items are then reflected on in your agile retrospective. After checking the results of every item, you might ask: “How do you explain the results? Feel free to also share what you answered.”
By the way: Our agile health check and retrospective tool Echometer helps you to do exactly this workshop in a remote online setting. If you want to do this kanban retrospective for free, simply open it following the button.
The button takes you directly to a retro. If you want to customize the questions, you need to create a free account first.
Again, you might want to add open questions like in the typical retrospective formats - other than kanban, what went well, what went not so well?
The rest of the agile sprint retrospective happens according to the typical 5 phases of a retro - voting what matters most, spending some time to develop good action items.
Why I like this retrospective
I really like this sprint retrospective (and other health check retrospectives) because you can do this exact agile retrospective again - and if you improved, you will see, after 3-12 months, how much you improved in actual numbers.
Of course, these numbers are just perceptions of the team members. But still, they help you to at least get an indication of your Agile coaching performance (finally).
Conclusion – Retrospective Kanban
Kanban is a simple approach, but there is a lot of things that are not that easy to accomplish. These best practices of successful agile kanban teams should have given you some inspiration on how to improve in your “retrospective kanban”.
In any case, there are even more things you can get better on. If you want to have more of these items and maybe even implement a a continuous team health check (including measuring “kanban quality”, of course), feel free to do so for free using Echometer now.