This week I was walking past a conference room where a Scrum Master was preparing for the team’s retrospective. I had to stop and take a picture because I really loved what I saw. Here are a few of the things that really impressed me:
- The team’s improvement plan from the last retrospective is represented. This helps to solidify the value from the last retrospective’s suggested improvements. By circling back around and discussing the team’s experience with the past action plan it helps the team to measure to see if the changes actually impacted their ability to become higher performing. This also helps the team intentionally create ways to ensure that they act upon the plan they create because they re-evaluate how they implemented them and if the changes need to be adopted as part of the working agreement or if they were not valuable enough to continue.
- It is creative and fun. You don’t need to be an artist to draw pictures for a retrospective. In fact, I’ve found that scrum masters who can’t draw well but do it anyway have the most success! Being willing to really put yourself out there when you know there’s an obvious lack of talent shows the team that you are willing to bring your full self in order to help them grow. It helps to foster trust and relationship because you aren’t hiding your weaknesses from them. The lack of drawing skill usually becomes a fun joke for the whole team as they try to identify what your pictures represent. (In this retro the big joke was, “What in the world is the monkey doing?” Answer= He’s pulling the elephant’s tail and frustrating him!)
- It uses the coaching skill of metaphor. This picture represents the teams experiences through the last sprint. It helps the team to look at the sprint from multiple perspectives. The perspective of positive things like things that specifically are helping us to do well and be better and things we want to celebrate. It also helps the team get real about what’s frustrating them and what is really holding back their growth and progress in areas. These perspectives take the team deeper than just what went well and what didn’t.