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Workshop Exercises to spice up your Agile Retrospective Agile Cambridge 2017 - Ben Linders


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Valuable agile retrospectives provide the solution for a successful agile adoption at all levels in an organization. They help teams to reflect and learn how to apply agile practices effectively, and support managers with ideas to set conditions for their teams to grow and deliver more value.

In this mini-workshop you will experience how using different exercises can help you to spice up your agile retrospectives and get more value out of them. I will also explain the why and how of retrospectives, the business value and benefits that they can bring you, and provide tips for improving retrospectives in your teams.

In teams, you will practice exercises from the Retrospective Exercises Toolbox to experience how to effectively facilitate retrospectives.

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Workshop Exercises to spice up your Agile Retrospective Agile Cambridge 2017 - Ben Linders

  1. 1. - @BenLinders 1 Ben Linders Consulting Exercises to spice up your agile retrospective Agile Cambridge September 28, 2017 Ben Linders Consulting
  2. 2. - @BenLinders 2 Ben Linders Consulting What you will learn • Why and how of agile retrospectives • Try out different retrospective exercises • Create a safe environment to run a retrospective • Practice skills for facilitating retrospectives
  3. 3. - @BenLinders 3 Ben Linders Consulting Warm-up Exercise • Roles: – Time keeper – Scribe • 1 min to brainstorm individualy – One word: how you feel retrospective are going in your org/team – One word: the main missing ingredient in your retrospectives • 1 min for each paper – Write down both words on flip chart – Explain the words – discuss briefly
  4. 4. - @BenLinders 4 Ben Linders Consulting Trainer / Coach / Adviser / Author / Speaker Agile, Lean, Quality & Continuous improvement Freelance Editor for Ben Linders Books: Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives What Drives Quality Continuous Improvement Games: Agile Self-assessment Game
  5. 5. - @BenLinders 5 Ben Linders Consulting Purpose of Retrospectives • Self-organizing teams are responsible for their own WoW • No “first time right”, adjust along the way • Ok to fail, if you learn from it • Continuous improvement Sustainable Improvement through Agile Retrospectives
  6. 6. - @BenLinders 6 Ben Linders Consulting Safety in Retrospectives Open Culture where team members Speak Up with Respect for each other to Learn and Improve Assure that people know why retrospectives are done, and have a mindset to improve Soft Skills Matter • Prime Directive • Safety Check and Warm-up exercises • Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer, and Prisoner
  7. 7. - @BenLinders 7 Ben Linders Consulting State of Practice Retrospectives First annual Agile Retrospectives Report: “deeper understanding of how retrospectives are used in the real world - how good we are at retrospecting”
  8. 8. - @BenLinders 8 Ben Linders Consulting
  9. 9. - @BenLinders 9 Ben Linders Consulting Toolbox of Retrospective Exercises • Teams differ • Needs vary • More value You can plan a retrospective meeting, and think about the exercise you want to use, but be open to change it on the spot whenever needed. Toolbox of Retrospective Techniques
  10. 10. - @BenLinders 10 Ben Linders Consulting Exercise: Valuable Retrospectives Possible Exercises: • Car Brand • 3S (Stop, Start, Spice up) • Perfection Game • One Word • Faces Jack Sparrow • Backpacking • Constellation • Sail boat futurespective • Bring your own…
  11. 11. - @BenLinders 11 Ben Linders Consulting Retrospective Exercises Practice retrospectives: • 5 min: divide roles: Facilitator, team, observer(s) read exercise & prepare • 30 min: do the retrospective • 10 min: evaluate exercise • 20 min: share learnings Evaluate • How did it go? • What did you learn?
  12. 12. - @BenLinders 12 Ben Linders Consulting Effective Retrospectives Know the why Good facilitation Effective exercises Frequent, small steps Vital few actions
  13. 13. - @BenLinders 13 Ben Linders Consulting Inspiration for Retrospectives Retrospective Exercises: • • •
  14. 14. - @BenLinders 14 Ben Linders Consulting Retrospectives Book Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives By Luis Gonçalves & Ben Linders Special Agile Cambridge: Spice up Agile Retrospectives – with a Discount! • 25% off with coupon “agilecam” at • 25% off on Leanpub at
  15. 15. - @BenLinders 15 Ben Linders Consulting Wrap up What did you learn today:  Why and how of agile retrospectives  Try out different retrospective exercises  Create a safe environment to run a retrospective  Practice skills for facilitating retrospectives Questions?
  16. 16. - @BenLinders 16 Ben Linders Consulting Thank you!Thank you! Ben Linders Independent Consultant Agile, Lean, Quality & Continuous Improvement @BenLinders
  17. 17. - @BenLinders 17 Ben Linders Consulting Background Information
  18. 18. - @BenLinders 18 Ben Linders Consulting Designing your Retrospective
  19. 19. - @BenLinders 19 Ben Linders Consulting Facilitating Retrospectives Facilitators • Plan the retrospective • Select appropriate exercises • Chair the meeting • Ensure action is taken Making retrospectives effective • Open & honest culture • Focus on the process • Remain independent Facilitation Good Practices
  20. 20. - @BenLinders 20 Ben Linders Consulting Vital Few Actions • Small Actions • Frequent Change • Focus on Value • Stop Starting, Start Stopping • Kanban Short Cycled Improvement
  21. 21. - @BenLinders 21 Ben Linders Consulting What Drives Quality Deep Dive into Software Quality with Practical Solutions for Delivering High Quality Products for software developers and testers, architects, Product Owners, agile coaches, Scrum masters, project managers, and operational and senior managers who consider quality to be important Release date: September 30, 2017 Available on Amazon, leanpub, BenLinders
  22. 22. - @BenLinders 22 Ben Linders Consulting Continuous Improvement Become aware of importance of continuous improvement, Explore how it’s engrained in agile software development Suggestions that you can use in your daily work to improve continuously Increase your organization's agility! “Continuous Improvement is the act of continuously doing whatever helps to become better and thus more valuable”
  23. 23. - @BenLinders 23 Ben Linders Consulting Retrospectives Book Bundle Six successful retrospectives books • Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives • Fun Retrospectives • Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your Retrospectives • The Retrospective Handbook • Retrospectives for Organizational Change • The Retrospectives Kickstarter These books will make your agile retrospectives rock! Teams will love to do them :-). Discounted price: $30,48 (excl. VAT)
  24. 24. - @BenLinders 24 Ben Linders Consulting Getting More out of Agile & Lean Practices for teams and stakeholders to develop the right products, deliver faster, increase quality, and create happy high performing teams. Full Day Workshop: Deploying practices effectively Improve Collaboration Tips & Trick for Agile & Lean Improve Continuously Increase your organization's agility!
  25. 25. - @BenLinders 25 Ben Linders Consulting Assessing your Agility Over 50 tools: • Self-Assessment checklists • Readyness checks • Maturity assessments • Agile health checks • Measurements • And much more! Agile Self-Assessments
  26. 26. - @BenLinders 26 Ben Linders Consulting Retrospective Exercises • Asking questions • One-word retrospective • Root Cause Analysis • Timeline • Flow and Energy • Asking Why? • Strenghts (Solution Focused) • Perfection game • Action priorities • Retrospective of Retrospectives • Teams with multiple customers • Remote Teams • Futurespectives • Strengths/Core Qualities Book with Agile Retrospective Exercises
  27. 27. - @BenLinders 27 Ben Linders Consulting Articles on Effective Agile • Self-assessing how Agile you are • Sustainable Improvement through Agile Retrospectives • Working in a Sustainable Pace • Becoming Agile and Lean • Succes Factors for Using Scrum and Getting Benefits • Process Improvement: The Agile Way • Golden Rules for Agile Process Improvement • How to deal with Resistance when Implementing Agile • Managing Projects with Agile Teams • Agile Project Management • Establishing and Maintaining Stable Teams • Getting Business Value out of Agile Retrospectives • Sharing Knowledge is Power • Are your Professionals Empowered?