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Retrospectives are boring!

about 12 years ago | Biju Bhaskar: Thoughts on enterprise application development and more...

I have been attending lot of team retros (retrospectives) as part of our effort this year to "reinvigorate continues improvement through retros". The good thing is that these teams have a consistent repeatable process. As prescribed, these teams figure out what they should start, stop or continue and come up with some action plan before starting their next sprint. This process continues every sprint...However, one thing I observed is that even for those good teams that are doing retros diligently, it is becoming monotonous. Also, the improvements these teams are making every sprint is very small. So over a period of time the team members start to feel that these meetings are not adding enough value and end up becoming boring.So what can they do to bring the value back in their retros? Three things...Mix it up: Dont always do start, stop and continue. Rotate the facilitator,  invite external facilitator, change the format, change focus, do video conference etc. to bring some freshness. Be creative! Challenge themselves with tough questions: Teams tend to be satisfied with minor improvements they make every sprint. They need to ask tough questions like .... why cant we have 100% automation or TDD?  Why cant our velocity be double? Why are we not adhering to done list all the time? etc.Do proper problem solving for at least one big ticket item: Keep asking the why question, until we get to the root cause. Use problem solving techniques like 5 why's or something similar If  teams do these things continuously, I am sure that they are going to make a leap from good to great and retros will become more interesting.Are your retrospectives boring?