Below you can find the growing selection of Jordann’s Retro Roulette!

The art of retrospection is about looking back at how you worked together and delivered the work. The main goal is to improve how effective you are as a team. Or as the Scrum Guide [web] puts it:

The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.

– Scrum Guide

By far not all the different retrospectives I ran are on here yet, but I’ll keep expanding the list over time. All the retro’s on here are ones I can tell you more about in person, because they fall in either one of these categories:

  1. They are created by me and tested out on Scrum volunteers (often also called ‘team’)
  2. Facilitated them myself after learning about them online, at a conference or from people I know
  3. They were done by Scrum masters while I coached them
  4. Other; just trust me I was there or close

After being in quite some Scrum teams myself, I find the retrospective to be the most useful event. Without continuous improvement, is it possible to ‘become agile’ anyway..? What I found way less powerful, was the fact that up till then all my Scrum masters always facilitated the retro in one way. To be honest, even the few retro’s I facilitated were done in the same way, because I also didn’t know better at that time.

Every single sprint would end with the team naming what went well and what could be improved. Please keep in mind this was in a dark, forgotten time where component teams (as opposed to feature teams nowadays) were still the standard. It’s not hard to imagine that my front-end teams ended up complaining at the back-end teams. Sprint after sprint would end in woe and misery and it was of course all out of our control, because ~points finger at back-end~.

Bad and boring retrospectives are the Achilles heel of Scrum.

So when I landed my first Scrum master assignment, this man was on a mission. I would do anything in my power to not let that happen to my teams! It didn’t take me long to discover that there was this magical concept where some Scrum masters would vary their retrospectives. From that moment on I promised myself that repeating a retro exercise would be a rare exception. The result of that promise you can find below.

There are multiple benefits to changing the retro every single sprint. First of all it’s more fun, both to facilitate as well as to participate. It gives you a different perspective on what happened and how you can improve. That way it ensures you don’t only improve your team’s process, but also adjust your purpose, get to know your colleagues, enhance your product vision, challenge your group dynamics, question your organizational support, appreciate your team members and much, much more. There lies another power, as a Scrum master you get a way to guide your team to their next improvement.

By now I must have ran over 50 different retrospectives, which I hope to recollect and add over time. Stay tuned!