Retrospective Facilitation Techniques in Scrum

Top 3 Retrospective Facilitation Techniques In Scrum

In the world of agile project management, the importance of effective facilitation techniques for retrospectives is becoming increasingly crucial. Retrospectives offer teams the opportunity to reflect on their progress and identify areas for improvement. The use of specific retrospective techniques in Scrum ensures that these meetings are productive and meaningful. In this article, I therefore present three important techniques for facilitating retrospectives that can improve your agile practices.

Retrospective facilitation techniques in Scrum

Pro tip: How to increase the impact of your retrospectives

Before we look at the specific retrospective techniques, it is important to understand how to enhance the impact of a retrospective. Effective retros are not just about following a method, but also about creating an environment that fosters clear communication and actionable results.

Focus on psychological safety:

A key factor that can influence the quality and outcome of any retrospective is the level of psychological safety within the team. Psychological safety allows team members to voice their thoughts and concerns without fear of reprisal or ridicule. When a team member feels safe, the honesty and depth of feedback improves significantly. Studies at Google, for example, have found that team performance correlates with the level of psychological safety. I would even go so far as to say that psychological safety is an absolute foundation for a good retrospective. – If team members are afraid to talk about their feelings, problems will accumulate until a breakdown occurs.

Implementation tip: There is no shortcut to establishing a healthy level of psychological safety. Forcing people to be honest is certainly not an option. As a moderator, you have the greatest influence on this factor by setting a good example. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and show that it's perfectly okay if everything isn't always okay. – So set a good example.

By prioritizing psychological safety, you ensure that all voices are heard and that a truly multifactorial view of problems can emerge. In this way, you create the breeding ground for continuous improvement in your team.

If you would like more information about psychological safety, take a look at this article: Psychological Safety in Agile Teams

Now we come to the retrospective moderation techniques:

Retrospective facilitation techniques in Scrum

1. the 4 L's retrospective technique👍

One of the most effective retrospective techniques in Scrum are the 4 L's: Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed For. By categorizing feedback into these four areas, teams can constructively discuss their experiences and feelings.

The retrospective with the 4 L's allows each participant to contribute to all aspects of the sprint evaluation, making it a comprehensive tool for retrospective facilitation techniques.

Open questions

Like: What did you like?

Learned: What did you learn?

Lacked: What did you lack?

Longed for: What did you long for?

Retrospective facilitation techniques in Scrum

2. the keep, stop, start retrospective 👩🏻‍💻

Another classic retrospective technique in Scrum is the keep, stop, start framework. This method encourages teams to identify behaviors or processes that should be started, stopped or continued.

This technique is particularly effective because it directly targets actions that impact the team's progress. It helps to define actionable steps for future sprints. This is one of the key objectives that agile retrospective techniques are designed to achieve.

Open questions

Keep: What should we keep?

Stop: What should we stop doing?

Start: What should we start doing?

Retrospective facilitation techniques in Scrum

3. the battery retrospective ☕️

The Battery Retrospective is one of our own creations. This retrospective moderation technique aims to increase the energy level in the team. Because no matter how good your plan or the to-do's are, if the air is out, you can't get much done.

Bring your energy level back up with this retrospective:

Open questions

How full is your personal battery as a percentage right now?

What has drained your battery recently?

What has recharged your battery recently?

What would help you to save energy over the next few weeks?

Conclusion - Retrospective facilitation techniques in Scrum

Effective retrospective techniques are critical to the success of any agile team. By incorporating techniques such as the 4 L's, the Start, Stop, Continue framework or the Agile Delivery Retro, facilitators can ensure that their retrospectives are as productive as possible.

You can find more retrospective techniques in our tool "Echometer", which you can test for free. Alternatively, you can also take a look at this article: 21 Fun retrospective techniques

Most Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters run in circles...

...fixing superficial symptoms. Time to use psychology to foster sustainable mindset change.

"Many team members are afraid to speak up!"

"We discover too many unexpected issues & bugs at a late stage!"

"Why does it sometimes take me hours to prepare a simple retrospective?"

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Need a team boost? Do this: The Spotify Health Check Retrospective!

First Health question: "😍 We love going to work, and have great fun working together."

Sounds good? Try our retro tool for free below.

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