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Last year I suggested facilitating a retrospective for our team before the next phase of work began.

This was my first time leading a team of 16 members through a retrospective.

After a quick survey with the team, questioning to see how I can make this relevant to them, I decided to do some more research into Agile Retrospectives. The feedback I got wasnt enough to base an entire retrospective on, plus, I knew already what the team needed. Thats the positive about being a team member as well!

I researched websites, and researched…. I emailed Karen Greaves and Sam Laing from Growing Agile http://growingagile.co.za/ , and seeked advice. I received the ESVP idea from Karen. I also received a link to Cara Turner’s blog, http://facilitatingagility.com/author/caraturner/. Cara’s blog listed a whole lot of retro techniques. Now the only question I had was which one!

The main feature of the Retrospective (aside from the alice in wonderland side show) was The 4L’s by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener, http://ebgconsulting.com/blog/the-4l%E2%80%99s-a-retrospective-technique/ . This tool exposed some interesting and vital insights in our team. I took this concept a bit further by adding actions to the insights we discovered. Breaking it down even more into short term (what we can still do in 2012), and long term (2013) actions. Trying to keep it as realistic as possible.

I used Esther Derby’s, http://www.estherderby.com/category/insights , Agile Retrospective slide for the 1st half of my retrospective, and the 2nd half was sown together by the other retro ideas which I also adapted slightly again, to make it relevant and clearly understandable for our team.

The result?

They LOVED it! They all participated and 13 team members out of 15 are all EXPLORERS. That was especially interesting to discover because if the team is eager to learn new ideas, it shows they are willing, and if they willing, there’s so much propects/opportunities for this team.

Believe me, I had nightmares the night before. I prepared myself for failure… Why do we do that?.

They surprised me in a good way 🙂

Now comes the hard part. .. Gathering the information to make sure that the actions we all agreed on, are actioned. Its important that the team see’s progress or there will be little faith in these kind of tools in the future.

The feedback?

To do this more often on a 6 month basis during the work phase – not just after it.

Plus mostly ‘liked’ dots!… mostly.

Here’s some pics of our retrospective and the presentation slide …

So… tell me what you think.?

oh, and photo credits goes to Judith Cross… thanks Judy!