Accelerate Through Retrospectives

I had been sitting in a few team retrospectives and hearing the same old tired pattern of “what went well, what didn’t, what can we improve”. The teams were bored, i was bored, they were just doing mechanical scrum. Retrospectives are such a powerful tool to drive continuous improvement, but what i was seeing was a stagnation and the true value of this event was being lost.
End of the Sprint was coming up so as the enterprise agile coach, I thought I’d provide some of my favourite patterns and ended up providing my 20 scrum masters with a playbook  to accelerate and reinvigorate learning and improvement and provided  a years worth of retrospectives and ideas as well as links to where to find more.
I sent the presentation out and this was the email waiting for me from one of my remote teams…..

Morning Mia

I just wanted to give you feedback on how our retro went yesterday as I trialed some of the ideas in your Accelerate Through Retrospectives doc you sent out. I will admit I don’t normally get excited by this kind of stuff but after the retro yesterday I think I nearly skipped out of the room and thought wow – so changing the way we do things did make a big difference and think it will contribute to continual improvement. 

I selected the 3Ls, What went well/Should Change and the team building activity.The team was far more engaged this time and were talkative, laughing as normally all just sit around the table and say what went well/ not so well etc and just look at each other, this time there was interaction, laughter.  It was good to show that regardless of how long they have all been in the organisation everyone came up with one or two things they learned this sprint which was good.

All up was a good retro and the time went fast. So thank you for the ideas and I will try some of the others next retro



This is coaching gold so i was feeling pretty happy. I wondered if it was a one off, but to my surprise, a number of teams had picked up ideas from the presentation and implemented.

We  have a scrum master forum and each sprint teams are adding to the deck with their own patterns and variations. Its great to see them being excited about retros and really looking at ways to improve.
Here is the original slide deck, hope your teams find some inspiration as well. Would love to hear your patterns and if these helped you.

1 thought on “Accelerate Through Retrospectives

  1. Thanks for the post I’ve always felt strongly that the goal of Scrum rituals is too build engagement I’ve had the fight hard to convince colleagues of how much value there is in using fun and contextually relevant retro formats great to feel my perspective is validated here

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